The former commissioner for commerce and industry in Ogun State, Bimbo Ashiru, has called on the government to ensure an enabling environment which would help businesses to grow so as to attract more foreign direct investments in the country. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Food and Beverage West Africa (FAB) trade exhibition in Lagos, Ashiru noted that the inflow of foreign exhibitors from Saudi-Arabia, Egypt, Russia, Spain etc for the exhibition clearly showed that they were willing to invest in the country, saying an enabling environment would further spur investment inflow into Nigeria.
Noting that the level of unemployment in the country was high, he said, "If all foreign investors present at the exhibition can be encouraged to come into the country and produce locally with our local raw materials they will create jobs for our farmers, employ our graduates and those willing to be masters of their own business will be empowered at the same time value will be added to our economy." On his part, the managing director, BtoB Event, organisers of the programme, Jamie Hill, said the FAB trade exhibition was part of efforts to help promote local small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) and drive foreign investors into the country.
He said, "Food and Beverage West Africa is the premier exhibition dedicated to West Africa's food and beverage industry to bring exhibitors from around the world together under one roof to celebrate and explore future opportunities within the food and beverage industry."
He added that "by offering local SMEs the opportunity to participate we hope to facilitate their growth in the market and work towards the long term goal of increasing local production and export business and ultimately help reduce imports."
Also speaking, digital media supervisor, Justfood Josey Nwagbogwu, a gold sponsor of the exhibition explained that the main aim of sponsoring the exhibition was to get an avenue to showcase its products to prospective partners and also propel market entry location.
Executive director, Agro Nigeria, Mrs Idongesit Mbaram said, there had been a lot of concentration on the agriculture sector by the federal government and this concentration was cutting across every value chain in the sector.
so food and beverages retailing was not the way it was five years ago as more investors and brands were coming up thereby resulting in keen competition and where there is competi.