…As Nigeria@60 ALGON Exhibition and Trade Fair Ends In Abuja
…ALGON Exhibition and Trade Fair Declared an Annual Event
The Nigeria at 60 Exhibition and Trade Fair has come to an end in Abuja today, September 30th, 2021 after four days of Exhibition and Trade Fair. The Trade Fair and Exhibition organized by Abuja’s foremost Event company, Red Sapphire Nigeria Limited, had participants coming in from various Local Government Areas across Nigeria. States that were fully represented in this first edition are Delta, Lagos, Ebonyi and Kaduna State.
In his presentation on the closing day of the event, President of the National Cotton Association of Nigeria (NACOTAN), Mr. Ado Sule said contrary to the notion that cotton can only be grown in Northern Nigeria, the crop can actually grow in all parts of Nigeria. He said in 2019, NACOTAN grew cotton in 23 states of Nigeria both in the South West and South East (Ogoja in Cross River State).
Also, in 2020 Ado Sule said cotton was grown in Enugu, Akwa Ibom and Ebonyi States and the crop did very well in these Southern States. He said NACOTAN was at the Trade Fair and Exhibition to see the possibility of partnership with the Local Government Chairmen, especially the LGA Chairmen from the North. He said the reason for this was because they have a potential based on the fact that they have a large population of existing farmers already into cotton production.
Mr. Ado Sule said cotton is a product that can become a very good substitute for oil. He said the kind of Industries that will grow from cotton and the revenue that will be derived from cotton will help reduce Nigeria’s over dependence on Oil. He said moreover, the cotton value chain is a sector that can take care of more than half of our unemployment problem in Nigeria. Sule noted that, if the local government Chairmen key into this cotton sector, they will be able to solve most of the unemployment problems in their LGAs. He said the youths can be engaged to go into this sector and the Chairmen can also engage and see how they can invest in Ginneries that will serve as Off Takers for the cotton from the youths. The Ginneries will also employ their youths and the LGAs will find themselves developing an industry in their various Local Government Areas. He noted that this was very possible.
Sule said further that, in the south, where there are not too many cotton farmers, NACOTAN can also partner with the LGA Chairmen and do a sensitization exercise whereby, a lot of youths can be sensitized in the south and let them know that this can work. He said NACOTAN will bring in their trained personnel with all the necessary technology that need to be applied and help to train a lot of youths on the application of technology so that the industry will also grow in the Southern States of Nigeria.
In his address, the Honourable Minister of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Sen. George Akume, represented by a Director in the ministry, Mrs. Mariam Abdulmalik said, the event is apt considering the interest of Mr. President at not only addressing the challenges of our rural communities through the numerous policies that are being implemented by his administration, but by a deliberate attempt to move One Hundred Million (100,000,000) Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years. The minister said this Trade Fair as it were, is to promote massive economic development and showcase empowerment schemes at the grassroots level being driven by the present Administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari.
In his words, Senator Akume said, “in the the ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs our focus is how we can use the recently concluded Partnership Economy Summit to coordinate the various efforts of Government to improve the lots of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the 774 Local Government Areas”.
Senator Akume posited that, ”Nigeria is a blessed country with so many potentials locked up in our remote communities. Let me assure you that some of the challenges we are facing are surmountable especially once the issues of poverty and unemployment are holistically addressed. This realignment of economic development strategies and methodology will build bridges for people to walk out of poverty, empowering them to create and own businesses or get quality employment”.
The minister commended the organizers of the Trade Fair and assured of his readiness to work with the organizers of the event and all stakeholders to make the next edition a huge success. He commended the participants at the event for believing in Nigeria and striving in their own little way to contribute their quota to the development of the grassroots.
Mr. Olakunle Fasina, Director, Public Affairs and Bilateral Relations/Secretary, Ownership Sub-Committee on Nigeria @60 Project said the Ownership subcommittee is the principal umbrella under which the event was taking place. He said the committee is Chaired by the Hon. Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Otumba Adeniyi Adebayo who he is representing as the minister was unavoidably absent. Mr. Fashina congratulated the management of Red Sapphire for putting the event together and the management of ALGON for coordinating the local governments to participate in the event.
It will be recalled that on October 1, 2020, the country celebrated its 60th year of existence as a nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on Sept. 16, 2020, declared that the anniversary celebration would be observed for a whole year, ending on Sept. 30, 2021 to usher in the 61st anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence on October 1st, 2021. He said the ALGON Trade Fair and exhibition would now be an annual event.
Mr. Fasina said that on going round the exhibition stands and seeing the products on display directly from the local governments where they are produced, the Ownership subcommittee was very impressed. He said he recommended this Trade Fair to his colleagues in the office to come and buy agricultural products brought directly from the producers of the crops from various local governments of Nigeria and made available here in Abuja. He said the products are much cheaper that what Nigerians buy on the highway when they travel by road. He said it had been 4 days of huge success. In Conclusion, he congratulated Red Sapphire and ALGON for a good job and said the Sub Committee looks forward to having the event on a yearly basis.
In his closing remarks, Managing Director, Red Sapphire Nigeria Limited, Mr. Onoriode Akpe thanked all the participants for making the event successful in spite of some challenges along the way. He also thanked the members of the Ownership subcommittee for believing in the project and said he looked forward to its next edition as the it is now to be an annual event.