by Mallam Jibril L. Tafida
The just concluded 2017 Kaduna International Trade Fair has come and gone, but the dust it has raised may remain in the horizon for a very long time to come.
The 2017 trade fair may pass as the worst in the history of the gangling trade fair consummated 38 years ago to shore up commercial and business activities in Kaduna city, a city which over the years established a reputation for itself as one of the vibrant economic hubs of Northern Nigeria.
It is our considered opinion that given the vast experience which the organizers of the event accumulated following repeated conducts of the trade fair, it is envisaged that with each passing year, the conduct of the event will be better than the previous ones, but to the consternation of all and sundry, the 2017 international trade fair became one of the worst organized in the annals of the trade fair following its shabby organisation occasioned by the sordid and crass manner the managers of the trade fair handled it which by no means made it a sore epitaph in the history of the renowned event.
It is for the above reason that I, Mallam Jibril Tafida deemed it fit to on behalf of the 13 members voice our concerns, and discomfiture to Kaduna State Chambers Of Commerce Mines and Agriculture (KADCCIMA) over the shoddy manner in which the event was organised which made it chaste and lost its usual vibrancy and color which eventually, rendered the event a phenomenal failure that will remain a sore pain in the minds of investors, participants and members of KADCCIMA for a long time to come.
To understand the descent and level of failure recorded in the organisation of the 2017 trade fair, it is apt to state that no single foreign firm participated in the event and only a few local firms made a symbolic presence at what used to be African’s most prestigious Trade Fair.
In fact, the handful of traders that attended the fair converted it to a trading post, where all manner of fabrics and plastic wares were sold. Even at that, the 38th Kaduna International Trade Fair failed to stand out because Shiekh Abubakar Gumi Central Market surpassed it in the assortment of goods on offer and the volume of trade that took place.
In summary, the Trade Fair can be likened to a weekly market day like Kasuwar Monday at Kakuri or Kawo Tuesday Market.
From our findings, inadequate publicity and outreach, lack of initiative on the part of the Director General, Malam Usman Saulawa as well as his penchant for running the Chamber in line with his whims and caprices, were responsible for the poorly organised Trade Fair.
At a time when the country is trying to diversify the economy and government agencies are becoming more business-friendly, KADCCIMA must reposition itself in order to boost trade and investment in the agricultural and mining sectors. Sadly, with what we have noticed in the last few years, our Chamber is not ready to provide the platform for optimum private sector participation in the economy.
Consequently, the need to restructure KADCCIMA becomes imperative and to this end, we are advising the Director-General to step aside because he lacks both the capacity and acumen to run the Chamber.
I would like to restate at this juncture on behalf of the 13 members that there should be a paradigm shift in the way KADCCIMA is being run, which should be a detour from the past. The new Chamber that we envisage should be the engine room of private enterprise and investments not only in Kaduna state but the country at large.
Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija
Mal. Jibril L. Tafida writes from Kaduna