The President, Niger Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dr Abdulkadir Hassan, has attributed the poor attendance recorded at the National Trade Fair hosted by Niger State to the fear of kidnappers.
He spoke at the opening of the 17th Niger National Trade Fair held at the Trade Fair Complex, Shango, Minna, the Niger State capital, on Thursday.
Hassan said the insecurity in northern Nigeria was largely responsible for the poor attendance at the event.
He said, “We are appealing to all tiers of government to intensify efforts to face this monster of insecurity with available resources and manpower.
“If this situation continues, doing business in the north may be impossible. The north is known for its agricultural potentials, which employ more Nigerians than crude oil. But I am afraid to say that in most communities across this region, many farmers cannot go to their farms again. When they go, they either pay levies to bandits or risk being injured or killed.”
The president also appreciated the state government’s drive to curtail the problem, urging them to liaise with neighbouring states to reduce the activities of criminal elements.
He said, “In our new agenda for the state, the Niger chamber, as the apex body of the organised private sector, will establish a forum where the Niger State governor will be having a periodic interaction with the private sector in the state.”
The Governor of Niger State, Abubakar Bello, said the trade fair was an avenue for the state as well as entrepreneurs to showcase their agricultural, socio-economic and entrepreneurial potentials to investors within and outside the country.
Bello, who was represented by his Commissioner for Investment, Commerce and Industries, Mudi Muhammad, said the state was conducive for any investment to thrive.