By Taiye Baiyerohi/Oluwafunke Ishola
Lagos – Some exhibitors at the ongoing Lagos international trade fair on Thursday advised the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), the organisers of the fair, to reduce the rent on each stand in future.
They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the rent had consistently been on the increase yearly.
The exhibitors said the LCCI should ensure that the rents were reduced to enable them have some returns on their investments.
Mrs Jenifer Ende of Endis Global Ventures said she got her stand for N1.2 million, the premium package, which according to her is quite exorbitant.
Ende expressed doubt if she would be able to break even with such rents before the end of the 10-day scheduled for the fair.
She urged the management of LCCI to train their members of staff to be cautious in addressing exhibitors, saying that most of the staff addressed exhibitors rudely each time they lodged complaints.
“Most of the LCCI staff are very rude; they must be cautioned,’’ she said.
Ende said that she would appreciate it if the fees for the stands were reduced.
“ I love the Lagos international trade fair because it is the best in the whole of West and Central Africa.
“I just finished with the Jos trade Fair before coming here, the leasing fees for stands there are not as much as here, though I know one cannot compare the two cities.’’
Mr Adegboyega Ezekiel, a sales executive with Nkoyo Home and Kitchen Appliances, said LCCI had failed to accord the exhibitors some sense of respect in spite the exorbitant rent for exhibitors’ stand.
He pleaded that the rents be given a downward review during subsequent fairs to enable exhibitors get larger portions of land to displace their stocks approximately.
“The fair has been good so far, but we want the stands to be reduced for us next year so that we can afford to get sufficient space to display our stocks.
“The LCCI officials at the complaint room have not been friendly at all and I know it is because LCCI know that we are bound to have complaints that was the reason the desk was created.
“But each time we make our complaint, it is always demoralising responses we get, though such complaints are often treated, but they need to learn how to address exhibitors politely,” he said.
Mr Richard Ibe, a generator dealer, said that the fact there were many vacant stands on the fairground indicated that most people could not afford the rents this year.
He said the leasing rents had always been on upward increase, saying he paid N900, 000 last year, but now parted with N1.6 million for the same portion of space.
“LCCI must look into this constant increase in leasing fee because this will affect our businesses at the long run,” he said.
Mr Onyekachi Ezenwa said that as much as LCCI would continue to increase leasing fee for stands, it must also consider intensifying effort in improving traffic to the fair for bountiful sales.
According to him, LCCI has not made enough publicity for the fair which was very obvious in the sales generated so far.
He said when this is done, exhibitors would not be groaning to pay because they know their money would be recovered right on the fairground.