By Blessing Odega
Jos, Nov. 2, 2020 Exhibitors at the just-concluded 2020 Jos Trade Fair, on Monday said business at the event was hit by low patronage and non extension of the duration of the fair.
The Exhibitors faulted organisers for not extending the duration of the fair as they were only able to sell for four days instead of the initial two-week period due to the #EndSARS protest and the curfew imposed by the state government.
Mr Uzor Okoro, a trader of clothing’s, an exhibitor form Ilorin, in an interview with Naija247news said that he paid N400,000 for his stand but could not recover what he paid because of the disruptions.
“I didn’t recovered the amount I used in erecting the stand and for transporting my goods, not to talk of making any profit.
“This trade fair was my worst so far. We appealed to the organizers to extend the duration following the disruptions. We only opened for business for five days, this is so unfair,” he said.
Similarly, Mr Rabiu Murtala, a textile trader from Kano, lamented the poor patronage and blamed it on the curfew imposed by the state government.
Another exhibitor, Ikechukwu Okafor, a trader of kitchen utensils, also cited the same ordeal of non extension of the duration of the fair and low turnout of buyers.
Organisers of the trade fair, ANISTA marketing and events limited and the Plateau Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PLACCIMA), blamed the low patronage on the #EndSARS protest which led to the curfew.
The Chief Executive Officer of ANISTA, Miss Bolchit Barshep, confirming that the fair experienced a low turnout of participants and patronage, said the exhibitors who paid 100 per cent fee for their stands will be given a 50 per cent rebate during the 2021 Jos trade fair.
She also disputed the fact that exhibitors sold for only four or five days, saying that her record showed that business went on for 10 days.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the trade fair commenced on Oct. 15 and ended on the Nov. 1, with the #EndSARS protest and curfew coming in between.