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Nigeria: Lagos apparently better than Abuja for business

Foreign business people should think twice before deciding to promote their products in Nigeria’s capital Abuja instead of Lagos.

The Daily Trust newspaper reported today that 52 Turkish firms that staged a four day trade exhibition from 4 to 7 November in the capital Abuja complained about the poor attendance at the event.

Head of the organisers, Tahir Eraslan, reportedly told the newspaper that the Turkish delegation faced various problems in Nigeria. He also blamed the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) for not providing the promised assistance.

“We are not satisfied with the low turnout despite the fact that we advertised for eight days in television and five newspapers,” Eraslan was quoted saying.

Director General of NACCIMA, John Isemede, however, hit back saying that Abuja is Nigeria’s political capital and that the exhibition should rather have been staged in the country’s commercial hub Lagos.

“They didn’t do feasibility first before coming. Last month there was a Turkish trade fair in Lagos which was successful because Lagos is the commercial capital. They staged the expo at the weekend. Who do you see at the weekend in Abuja? Most people travel out of Abuja at the weekend. You go to Abuja for regulation and not for business. You cannot blame us for the failure,” he told the Daily Trust.


  • Ndudi Osakwe

    It is for reasons like this that companies engage local business facilitators to assist them in the planning of such expos and fairs. The facilitators serve as the link between the organisers of the events and the local business community. In Nigeria, it is not enough to go on media blitz. Apart from being very expensive, not many Nigerians watch Television due to power outage. Rather, marketing of such events should be targeted on niche. They should have also known that Abuja is not a business address. As rightly mentioned by the NACCIMA boss, Abuja is for regulation. Next time, please do the right thing…engage the professionals.

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