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PH Trade Fair And The Economic Mix Grill

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The 5th Edition of  the Port Harcourt International Trade Fair, has made remarkable improvement when compared with previous editions. This is the opinion of some market operators and the organizers of the event, the Port Harcourt Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (PHCCIMA).

Though, both the organisers and some of the operators share a common idea, that all sales in the Trade -Fair has over 20 per cent discount compared to the open market prices.

Some exhibitors came from far North, West and some neigbouring states, life Bayelsa, Imo, Abia and others.

In the views of the 2nd Deputy President of PHCCIMA, Dr. Renny Cookey, the 5th Port Harcourt International Trade Fair as organised by his organisation, is getting better and better over the years. The highlight of this year’s edition he said, was the opening ceremony which was formerly launched by the Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, who was ably represented by his Commissioner for Commerce, Hon (Chief) Ogbonna Nwuke last week.

Dr. Cookey, hinted that the opening ceremony was followed by a meeting with the Minister of Commerce and Former Governor of Imo State, Chief Achike Udenwa.

According to him, Udenwa spent about two days at the  Trade Fair. He said the minister’s main campaign during his two day stay was “much noise about the promotion of made in Nigeria goods.”

The PHCCIMA boss admitted  that the patronage of made in Nigeria goods are of a low patronage, saying that they are substandard.

Another reason he gave for the low patronage of made in Nigeria goods was orientation. He argued that people still believe that anything that is imported is of a superior quality to the made in Nigeria goods.

He explained that some of the products exhibited in this year’s Trade Fair are or a better standard but people still do not like or buy them simply because it is branded made in Nigeria but when rebranded made in Japan they buy them.

“Some of the products exhibited this year are of standard. But I can tell you that some of the products are better than foreign qualities. And I can tell you that some shoes made in Aba are branded made in Japan just to gain the market and nobody has disputed the quality, and it has to do with orientation,” he said.

He boasted that he is aware of a lady here in Nigeria, who makes and exports shirts to Marks and Spencer in United Kingdom. Because the quality of the production is very high. He pointed that tht because of the high quality of workshops like Marks and Spencer,  anyone maybe willing to buy.

About the issue of enlightenment campaign for made in Nigeria goods, he said that the Ministry of Commerce has to partner PHCCIMA in the promotion of or in the encouragement of the purchase of Home made goods or getting people aware.

The  Ministry of Commerce, or Government, he said, are, not in business, but the chambers which is the representative of the organised private sector, needs be allowed more participation in the campaign for Home made goods.

He stressed that PHCCIMA has access to all market operators and manufacturers, saying that if given the platform to carry out the campaign, it will achieve a high awareness  range more than the government.

He revealed that by Wednesday December 23, 2009, when the Trade Fair will formally end, almost double of the present exhibitors are expected in the market, adding, that it has become almost a tradition in the Trade Fair where some exhibitors believe  customers patronize them more towards the end of the Trade Fair in the preparation for Christmas celebration.

To this end, he said more products ranging from cars, boats, Generators, plough  moulers and other products will be displayed. He hinted that some big market makers like Dangote, Grevok, Eastern Enamel Ware and others will hit the market.

Concerning security, there are plain and uniformed security operatives. The uniformed men,  he said are organized by Medalion, to mount surveillance and monitoring of the market are noting that, the level of security is high, and exhibitors were happy to bring in expensive products to the market without fear.

Live entertainment was also part of this year’s Trade Fair where operators and buyers relax at the end of the day’s business.

When asked whether some of the Casino stands at the Trade Fair were part of his arrangements, he said no, saying that they (PHCCIMA) are not at the place to promote gambling, adding that such activity was not part of the objectives of the Trade Fair.

Some operators like Engr. Calistus Eziudu of Geopan Nig Ltd., who also spoke with The Tide, said he was there in the market to test-run products for customers before they carry it home.

Engineer Eziudu said since his company deals on generating sets, it was out of place to allow customers bear the risk of returning to the market should their purchased products fail at home.

Comparing this year’s edition of Trade Fair to that of last year, he subscribed  to the fact that there was an improvement  and an upward movement in terms of patronage.

The Geopan Nigeria Limited Engineer, who was full of praises for the organizers of the Trade Fair, explained that some people were not yet aware of the importance of Trade Fair due to lack of proper enlightenment campaign programme.  According to him, some people only came to the market due to some jingles done by some private companies, and therefore, called on PHCCIMA to do more in the areas of publicity.

The sales executive of Medic Company Limited, Joy Awuamba who was of a different view, said the market performance was poor compared to that of last year.

Agwuanba said that  the market, which has lasted about nine days as at Friday last week has little or nothing to show for it.

The sales executive officer of  Medic Company Limited, said though her products (security gadgets) are not a selling, blamed the low patronage on the yet-to be paid workers’ salaries and bonuses for the month.

She pointed out that her company reduced sales to almost 40 per cent discount but all to no avail.

Oku Perkins, who shared this view of low patronage with his colleagues, said  that the economic hardship, has affected negatively on that people’s purchasing power.

Perkins called on the organizers of the Trade Fair not to allow it coincide with any government’s function.  He argued that Friday sales was very low due to the CARNIRIV, saying that people also went there to buy as some exhibitors were reportedly seen at the venue.

In the area of s tall allocation, he regretted that the organizers take a cut-t hroat of about N400-N500 per square metre.  He said that the organizers should reduce it so that more exhibitors can come to the market.

The challenges in the Trade Fair he said, was lack of convenience, accommodation for exhibitors.  He lamented that exhibitors in the market go miles in order to have  themselves “cleaned up” and as well get dressed for the next day’s assignment.

Emiola Naturalist Care Limited, who also occupied about 120 square metres at Isaac Boro Park, venue for the 5th edition of Port Harcourt International Trade Fair, lamented that after paying upto N60,000, (electricity inclusive) for the space he booked for, the trade fair was not provided with light as promised by  the organizers of the trade fair.

Speaking to The Tide,  the company’s Principal Consultant, Mr Ayobami Adejare, noted that the company’s participation in the next year’s exhibition will be determined by a

strong  promise by the organizers to improve on the area of power provision.

Mr Adejare, regretted that after paying such a huge sum, the company still spends over N2,000 on daily basis to fuel the generating set in order to power its space at the trade fair.

He also intimated the organizers on the need  to do more on promo and announcement. He said that lack of enough promo and announcement was part of the setback the trade fair suffered this year, saying that people only started coming to the market after some companies went on air.

The product champion of Oceanic Bank Plc, Mr Sylvester, agree that there is low turn out of customers in this year’s edition of trade fair.  He said over the years,  turn out of customers have been encouraging, but could not say why this year was a different ball game.

He also admitted that customers still patronised the bank and others despite the low performance of the market.

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NSE Begins Week On Negative Note, Loses N19.49bn

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The Nigerian stock market began the week on a negative note as banking and consumer goods stocks, among others, triggered a N19.49bn loss.
At the end of trading on the floor of the Nigerian  Exchange Limited , the NGX All-Share Index dropped by 0.09 per cent to end at 43,270.94 basis points, while the market capitalisation declined to N22.58tn.
Market activities were mixed as the total volume of shares traded decreased by 30.19 per cent while the value traded rose by 34.05 per cent.
A total of 213.13 million shares valued at N2.36bn were exchanged in 4,105 deals, compared to 305.32 million shares worth N3.58bn in 4,450 deals last Friday.
FCMB Group Plc topped the traded stocks in terms of volume, accounting for 27.43 per cent of the total volume of trades while Airtel Africa Plc emerged as the most traded stock by value, representing 28.81 per cent of the total value of trades on the exchange.
14 firms gained compared to 21 losers.
AIICO Insurance Plc was the biggest gainer for the day, topping the gainers’ chart with a price appreciation of 8.57 per cent to N0.76 per share.
It was followed by LivingTrust Mortgage Bank Plc with a rise of 7.95 per cent, ending the day at N0.95 per share.
Analysing by sectors, three of the five major indices closed lower, led by NGX Oil & Gas (-0.56 per cent), NGX Consumer Goods (-0.23 per cent) and NGX Banking (0.18 per cent).
But the insurance (0.82 per cent) and industrial goods (0.002 per cent) indices gained at the end of trading.

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… Introduces TIES To Boost  Business Loan

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has introduced the Tertiary Institutions Entrepreneurship Scheme (TIES), which provides undergraduates and graduates with a platform to access loans.
The TIES’ underlying aim is to provide access to capital for Nigerian undergraduates and graduates with innovative entrepreneurial and technological ideas from polytechnics and universities.
TIES intends to shift undergraduates and graduates away from white-collar job pursuits and towards a culture of entrepreneurship development for economic development and job creation.
In a national biennial entrepreneurship competition, the Developmental Component would be distributed in the form of awards to Nigerian polytechnics and universities.
The competition aims to increase undergraduates’ awareness and visibility of high-impact entrepreneurial/technological concepts, foster entrepreneurial talent hunts in Nigerian polytechnics and universities, and encourage commercially viable and transformative technologies.
Interested Nigerian polytechnics and universities shall apply to participate in the national biennial entrepreneurship competition on a dedicated online portal.
Outlining brief details of the project, potential impact and evidence of originality of project, CBN said it is an innovation for students entrepreneurs.

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CITN Applauds FG, Tax Authorities On Fiscal Policy Decisions

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The Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) has lauded the Federal Government and tax authorities on the giant strides made on fiscal policy decisions and tax administration measures initiated this year in the area of Finance Act 2021 and the introduction of TaxPromax solution.
President of the institute, Adesina Adedayo, who gave the commendation at the institute’s yearly award ceremony at the weekend in Lagos, assured the government and tax authorities of aligning with the measures and promised to provide professional thoughts and insights on ways through which they could achieve an efficient and effective Nigerian tax system.
Adedayo emphasised the need to address the database, adding that without knowing who the tax-payers are, there is no way they can take money from unknown tax-payers.
Database is the aspect we have been emphasising on as an institute and in doing this, there are so many of pockets of data we have. All the data must be harmonised to have a simple unique tax-payers identification number,” he said.

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