November 17, (THEWILL) – Senate President Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan has commended the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, for organising the 8th edition of Made-In-Aba Trade Fair in conjunction with the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) in Abuja.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Senator Lawan applauded the organisers and the exhibitors, stressing that “this fair is a salutary reminder of what is expected of the people”.
The senate president, who was represented by Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, emphasised the fact that such fairs have the potential to generate foreign exchange and create jobs for the people.
Senator Lawan, however, noted that aside government interventions, one thing that is seriously needed is the right environment for business people to operate.
Expressing satisfaction with the success of the fair, Lawan said, “The nation is proud of all participants. Your efforts are admirable. However, you people should try to be more innovative”.
In his remark, the senate majority leader, Senator Yahaya Abdullah, also commended Abaribe for the laudable initiative.
In his response, Senator Abaribe stated that he was glad they were able to surmount the pressure of COVID-19, which stopped them from hosting the event in 2020.
Expressing his appreciation to SMEDAN, Abaribe said “I thank SMEDAN as our partner since 2013. We have always had the required support. We also thank the exhibitors. The exhibitors are able to surmount all the difficulties of leaving the South East to come to Abuja”.
When we talk about constituency projects, Nigerians always have doubts. I want to say that the Made-In-Aba fair is one of the zonal intervention projects run by the National Assembly,” Abaribe said.
“I am happy to hear that it is an annual event. We pray that the event will continue,” Senator Yahaya noted.
In his goodwill message, the senate chief whip, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, commended the promoters of Made-In-Aba fair saying it is the right step in the right direction.
Senator Kalu said, “I thank Abaribe for bringing our men and women from Aba to Abuja. I hope the fair will not stop. Made-In-Aba can solve a lot of problems. I urge the federal government to provide electricity”.
Also speaking, the honourable minister of state, mines and steel, Dr Uchechukwu Oga, who described Aba people as “great people with great ingenuity,” said Aba people have everything required to grow the economy in Aba. Dr Oga also reasoned that the fair’s exhibitors can have shared prosperity in the industry.
Commending SMEDAN and the honourable minister of industry, trade and investment, Otunba Adeniyi Adebayo, for their unalloyed support to see that the Aba fair keeps running,
Dr Oga said: “This trade fair is for us to think out of the box and also for us to create a better craft in the state”.
“Aba can take care of this nation in terms of leather works. This event will become a national event. We will support Abaribe anyhow. The Minister of Trade has done so much for the encouragement of trade in Aba. I also thank SMEDAN for continuing the project.”
In his speech, the director-general of SMEDAN, Dr Dikko Umaru Radda, emphasised that the Made-In-Aba fair has a positive effect on connecting the local players with the outside world
According to Radda, the programme aims to expose entrepreneurs from Aba businesses cluster for further development and standardisation of their products to meet national and international markets.
“The fair is a veritable platform for nurturing local entrepreneurial capabilities, even as MSMEs constitute the primary source of new jobs in the economy as well as play a critical role as a safety net for the bulk of the population,” Radda said.
Radda equally disclosed that MSMEs clusters in Aba have already considered the fair as an annual tradition, always looking forward to the event, adding that his agency is responsible for the development and promotion of MSMEs in the country.
The DG listed advantages of the fair to include attraction of customers, building brand image, creating public awareness, appreciating and promoting homemade goods and services, and more.
It was a beehive of activities on the 9th of November, 2021, during the opening ceremony of the 8th Made-In-Aba Trade Fair. The event held at the FCT Sports Complex, Garki, Abuja, from 9th November, 2021 to 13th November, 2021, attracting designers of Aba-made bags, shoes, belts clothings, bed liners, duvets, solar system accessories, beauty accessories, Senator’s suites amongst other products.
No fewer than 79 firms exhibited their Aba-made products on the first day of the fair. Some of the companies that exhibited their products at the fairground include Cemeviuc Global Ventures, Padic Global Nigeria, Rossy Julie Ventures, Prince Global Designers, Ojaik Concept, De Gold Attraction, Chibest Exclusive Designs, Mikky Fashion, and Ejipee Enterprises.
Others are Commy Fashion and Design, Emerenwa Collection, Goodies World, Vic-Pacis Outfit, and Adic Designs.