Low turn out of participants marred the commencement of the 35th Kaduna International Trade Fair which was officially declared opened today (Saturday) by President Goodluck Jonathan, ably represented by the Kaduna State Deputy Governor, Ambassador Audu Nuhu Bajoga.
As the trade fair began most of expected participants were yet to arrive while ,a few others who arrived in the first day were still working hard to erect their stands.
In his remarks, President Jonathan said the government’s doors were always open to investors ready to do business in the country.
According to him, “It is pertinent at this point for me to call on all investors at this fair to explore means of taking advantage of opportunities inherent in the agriculture sector in the country.
“In Kaduna State alone, there are opportunities in tomatoes processing, ginger processing, flour mills, juice making, textiles, spice making, fish production, meat processing and other food processing industry.
“As Government, our doors are always open to investors ready to do business in our peaceful state and we shall be ready to provide some basic incentives to any interested investor,” President Jonathan said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the President of Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA), Dr. Abdul Alimi Bello stated that countries like Egypt, Ghana, Turkey, India, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Senegal and Niger Republic among others are participating in the years trade fair.
Speaking on the theme of the fair, “Agricultural Transformation for Industrial Development: Public Private Partnership (PPP) Approach,” Dr. Bello said the choice of the theme was
to compliment the efforts of government in its attempt to reposition and restructure agriculture from development outlook to business and profitable ventures.
“We believe that the Nigerian economy will reasonably recover in 2014. It is hoped that while the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), would grow at over six per cent relative to the global average of 3.1 percent. Nigerian economy may emerge as the largest on the African continent and one of the top 30th in the world after the GDP rebasing, which is expected this year,” the President of KADCCIMA however stated.
It would be recalled that for the past two years Kaduna International Trade fair has witnessed downward slide of participation, a situation which may not be unconnected with the present security challenges in the country.