16th November, 2021
By Ikenna Uwadileke
The 8th Made-in-Aba trade fair is ongoing in Abuja, with the spokesperson of the House of Representatives, urging government to provide the infrastructure needed by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Rep. Benjamin Kalu said this while addressing no fewer than 90 exhibitors at the trade fair on Tuesday.
The trade fair with the theme, “Harnessing Business Opportunities Beyond Covid-19 Drawbacks’’, was organised by Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe in partnership with Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).
Kalu noted that the availability of critical infrastructure such as electricity and production machines is crucial in boosting SMEs.
While commending the artisans for presenting high-quality goods at the trade fair, the lawmaker urged them to remain good ambassadors of the made-in-Aba brand.
He stressed the need for Nigerians to patronise locally made goods, describing it as a sure way of promoting SMEs in the country.
“I equally urge my colleagues in the National Assembly to patronise our locally made goods because they are good and it is one way we can support the growth of SMEs in Nigeria.
“All that I am wearing here today are made-in-Aba and they are of good quality.
“If you artisans can produce all these high-quality products without machines, what then will be the result when you are provided with those machines to enhance productivity.
“I commend Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia and Sen. Enyinnaya Abaribe for promoting made-in-Aba products and I will take the message to the National Assembly as a way of creating more awareness on Made-in-Aba products.
“No doubt, these wonderful, classy and classic shoes, clothes, belts among others made in our land by our own people are adorable.
“As promoters of made-in-Aba products, we have taken it upon ourselves to promote the goods by wearing them and by telling others about them.”
“For me, this is very significant in many ways,’’ Kalu said.
Some of the exhibitors said that their expectations were met during the one-week event.
Mr Ernest Cosmas, CEO of Fresh Boutique, described the turnout as impressive and the venue of the event well located and secured.
Mrs Kelechi Uzoma said that the trade fair presented an appropriate avenue for the celebration of Nigeria’s craftsmanship.
Uzoma, however, pointed out the need for increased awareness in subsequent editions.