Exhibitors at the 8th edition of Made-in-Aba Trade Fair, on Tuesday in Abuja, expressed excitement over the commencement of the annual fair designed to promote locally made products and skills among artisans.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the fair being attended by over 90 exhibitors from Aba is sponsored by the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, in partnership with Small-and Medium- Enterprises Development Agency.
Some of the exhibitors, in separate interviews with NAN, commended the Federal Government for encouraging locally-made products and Abaribe for promoting Small- and Medium-Enterprises.
They, however, stressed the need for increased publicity, saying it was critical in attracting patronage.
According to Chinatu Nwagbara, Chief Executive Officer of Chinatu Company Limited, specialist in handmade foot wears, increased awareness is vital in ensuring that the exhibitors are fulfilled at the end of the trade fair.
Nwagbara lauded the organisers of the event for their choice of Old Parade Ground which he described as a conducive venue.
“This trade fair, which started in 2013 through the support of Senator Abaribe, has given us the platform to showcase made-in-Aba products and has helped improve the standard of our products.
“Today our products can compete favourably with the imported ones and we are glad that it is receiving more recognition.
“The trade fair is not only about the profit but it is focused on the creation of awareness for Aba products which are of high quality and artistically produced in Nigeria,’’ Nwagbara said.
Chima Nwogu, Director, Chimaustino Industrial company, a local bag making company, said, “I am happy that I can participate in this year’s trade fair which is organised to let the world know that Aba makes the best of products.
“Come and see for yourself superior products made by Nigerians. Aba is known as the Japan of Africa and the journey to achieving more has started with the trade fair,’’ Nwogu said.
Comfort Herbert, owner of Commy Fashion and Design outfit, expressed pleasure being a first timer to the event.
“I was quite sceptical about coming to Abuja as an exhibitor but after seeing all the plans and provision on ground, I am glad I did not miss out of this great opportunity to showcase my product and talent,’’ she said.
Meanwhile, Ukamaka Enwereji, CEO of Uka Fascinators and caps, has urged other lawmakers to emulate the concept, noting that “The fair draws attention to many capabilities in our society.
“Every exhibitor present is good at what he or she does and if properly equipped, can lead to the creation of opportunities that will catapult our economy to the top.”
A visitor, Adegboyega Adediran, said that he came to the fair to patronise some of the locally-made products at affordable prices.
NAN recalls that Abaribe, in a joint press conference with SMEDAN heralding the commencement of the trade fair, urged Nigerians to patronise locally-made goods, saying that it would have great impacts on local industries.
The lawmaker who represents Abia-South Senatorial District of Abia State, said that the 8th edition of the Made-in Aba trade fair holds between November 8 to 13 in Abuja.