Driving A Paradigm Shift In Trade Fairs

A new concept of trade fair exhibition was conceptualized three years ago, in a move aimed at changing the paradigm from the traditional method. This new trend is generally obtainable in most countries of the world with specialization in trade exhibition. The advantage is that it addresses the need of a given sector or industry in a peculiar manner. For instance, this is what gave rise to specialized banks in China and the Asian continent in general. But in Nigeria, trade fairs are seen as annual events, a move that stunts the growth of the economy.


Driven by the need to give a face lift to the once neglected Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC), Lagos, Aulic Nigeria Limited, the management concessionaire of the complex, came up with a quarterly specialized trade exhibition.

This came following extensive renovation of facilities at the complex. This dream came to fruition with a synergy from both foreign and local firms of repute to help drive growth in line with the transformation agenda of the Federal Government.

Aulic organized the 3rd specialized trade exhibition 2014 which started Friday 6th June and ended on Sunday 15th June, in association with Ukraine International Exhibition Centre and Heritage International Business Concept (HIBC), Hamburg, Germany, with the theme ‘Boosting Nigeria’s Development through Creative and Innovative Industrialization’.


Speaking at the opening ceremony, the chairman, Aulic Group, Prof. Nick Eze explained the need for such exhibitions to bring into contact the nation’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with international and local businesses needed to drive growth in the SME sector, adding that SMEs in the country are expected to receive a major boost with the trade exhibition.

Prof. Eze said that the fare was designed to showcase local and international businesses with a view to getting SMEs and local businesses acquainted with the global trends of promoting creativity and industrial innovation to generate the most needed employment and job opportunity for the nation’s teeming unemployed youth.

He also stated that in line with its cooperate objectives, Aulic has made enormous commitment towards the rehabilitation and repositioning of the Lagos international Trade Fair Complex to transform the once neglected national edifice into an international convention and exhibition centre of repute.

”It is our utmost desire to put these facilities into effective use. In this regard, activities have been designed to hold in this venue every month. It is no longer going to be once in a year exhibition, I am working with the Management team to ensure our dreams and plans for this place is actualized in spite of our constraints and challenges” he said.

Eze affirmed that Aulic is committed to the transformation agenda of the federal government by developing the supporting sustainable programmes that will promote genuine economic activities within its area of operation.

He however called on the federal government to quickly resolve the pending issue on the concession of the complex to enforce the performance of final hand over of the Complex to the Aulic, saying that this will boost economic and investment drive into the country.

Also, the Chairman, African Business Round Table and Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Bamanga Tukur said the fair was timely and significant when Nigeria is in dire need of practical and creative industrialisation to overcome the increase.

He pointed out that the country needs creative industrialisation more than ever before to position it  as one of the fastest growing economy in Sub-Sahara Africa.

Dr. Tukur who was represented by his Special Adviser, Prof. Onyeke A. Onyeke said with trade fair shows as this, manufacturers of goods and service will be better positioned to reach out to market places in a seamless and cost-effective manner.

“This event like others in the past, shall mark socio-economic and industrial relationships between individual teams, institutions and governments that are present here. Exhibitors of products and services challenge sound minds on new way of doing things,” he said, appealing to participants to use the opportunity to transform the educational, economic and industrial technologies.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Power, Prof. Chinedu Nebo in his speech said that the power sector is faced with some challenges which have made the declaration of Transition Electricity Market (TEM), which will kick-start the contractual obligation of all market participants, difficult as he listed the challenges as gas supply, security issues, transmission, and revenue collection among others.

Nebo, who was represented by Barr. Victor Okpara said the major aim of the power sector is to act as a catalyst for economic growth of Nigeria, and that it was anticipated that the reform of the sector would move the country towards industrialisation, creates more jobs, result in higher GDP, increase household income, improve standard of living and improve youth development and social security.

“From what I had seen since I arrived this trade complex, I must say that I am very impressed with the quality of participants at the trade fair exhibition; as it is a veritable for prospective investors to acquaint themselves with investment opportunity in the power sector and take advantage of the facilities offered here by coming on board to invest in the sector,” he said even as he expressed appreciation to the organiser of the trade exhibition adding that government is in full support in making the emerging market space conducive for business for prospective investors.

However, the trade exhibition had in attendance numerous companies from abroad and indigenous companies from the Nigerian business community who exhibited their product and services. About 170 companies indicated interest to participate in the fair. However, one unique feature of the fair is the presence of new companies in different sectors, working towards contributing their quota to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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