The 30th edition of the Enugu International Trade Fair has opened on Friday with a call on the Federal Government to develop facilities at the complex as it did in Lagos and Kaduna.
Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, in an address, said that the development of infrastructure at the site was long overdue considering that the city was a regional headquarters.
Ugwuanyi, who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, assured that the state government would continue to collaborate with the Enugu Chamber of Commerce Industries Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA).
He said that the trade fair complex needed to be brought to the same level with its peers in other regions of the country.
“On our part, we will assure ECCIMA of continued collaboration to develop the infrastructure,” Ugwuanyi said.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the President of the chamber, Mr Emeka Udeze, said that ECCIMA was so far developing facilities at the site through self-help due to the neglect it had suffered.
Udeze said that in spite of challenges facing the chamber, “ I am happy that we have been able to hold successful nine editions of the fair in this permanent site.
“In the last five years, we erected and completed a mini exhibition hall and enhanced the ceremonial pavilion within the resources available to the chamber.
“We went the extra miles three years ago to task ourselves through credit leveraging to asphalt part of the internal roads in the complex,” he said.
The president said that the aforementioned were carried out in consultation with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment.
“Unfortunately, these facilities according to the ministry may give way when the master plan for the development of the complex would be executed,” he said.
Udeze called on the Federal Government to hasten the award of contracts for the development of the complex.
“Once again, we re-echo our appeal for the Federal Government to earmark and release adequate funds and to award the contract to competent contractors for the development of the complex,” he said.
He said that facilities needed to be done at the complex included ground stand for ceremonies, pavilions, asphalting of the internal roads, water reticulation and electrical networking including convenience.
Udeze said that in view of the clash of the fair with the ongoing Kaduna Trade Fair, “we are extending this trade fair by two days to encourage the rest of our participants finish up in Kaduna and join us.”
In a good will message, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Okechukwu Enelamah, said that ECCIMA would get maximum support from the Federal Government.
Enelamah, who was represented by his Senior Special Assistant, Mr Emeka Ifezulike, said that the Federal Government had put measures to enhance Made in Nigeria products.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that by this extension, the trade fair will now end on April 17. (NAN)