SPEECH OF CHAIRMAN, TRADE FAIR COMMITTEE AT THE OPENING OF THE 37TH KANO INTERNATIONAL TRADE FAIR HELD ON 19TH NOVEMBER 2016 AT THE TRADE FAIR COMPLEX, ZOO ROAD, KANO. Courtesies. His Excellency, The President of the Federal republic of Nigeria, ably represented by The Honourable Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu E. Enelamah, the PS Aliyu Bisalla and other Directors of the Ministry His Excellency The Executive Governor of Kano State, ably represented by The Deputy Governor, Professor Hafiz Abubakar, Members of the Kano State Executive Council here present Speaker, KNHA Rt. Hon Kabiru Alhassan His Royal Highness the Emir of Kano ably represented Members of the Diplomatic Corps President, NACCIMA ably represented by Vice President, Ahmad Rabiu President, KACCIMA and Council Members, Presidents of sister
Chambers of Commerce from Northern Nigeria, Past Presidents of KACCIMA Captains of Industry, Members of the KACCIMA Partners and Sponsors of KACCIMA on this Trade fair Participants Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, Gentlemen of the Press It is indeed an honour, privilege as well as well as gratitude and praise to the Almighty Allah to stand here in welcoming you to this occasion marking the official opening of the 37th Kano International Trade Fair with the theme, “Attracting Entrepreneurs and Investors towards National Economic Growth.” We were here last year around this time when we witnessed the opening of the 36th International Trade fair which recorded about 250 participants including 11 foreign nationalities. From the pre Trade-Fair commitments we have and the response we are getting from yesterday onwards, we are expecting to record over 300 participants including 20 foreign nationals. All arrangements to ensure a successful 2016 trade Fair are in place and our officials are all around to attend to any issue that can arise in the course of this Trade Fair. We want to appreciate the effort of the Kano State Government as well as security personnel from both the Federal and State Government for their maximum co-operation. The Fair started yesterday and that explains the seeming high level of carpentry works going on in both the pavilion and open spaces for participants to have the necessary exhibition stand to display their commodities/services. The decision to have the opening ceremony a day after the commencement of the Fair was to give opportunity of the Presidents of the Northern Chambers of Commerce to be part of us today as they have all arrived Kano yesterday to participate in the AGM of Coalition of Northern States Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (CONSCIMMA) which took place yesterday and is being hosted by the KACCIMA. Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the history of trade fair in Kano dates as far back as 1959 when Kano hosted the first international trade fair south of the Sahara to commemorate its 1000th year of existence and continues to hold annual international trade fair as well as regional trade fairs up to this day. Other reasons why it is important to participate in the Kano International Trade Fairs are as follows: · Strategically located at the centre of Northern Nigeria, Kano has served as a major entry port to the nation and as the southern hub of the trans-saharan trade route for centuries · Kano city serves as a regional trade hub servicing a market of over 300 million people located in northern Nigeria, neighbouring countries such as Niger, Cameroun, Chad as well as across the Sahel economic zone/North Africa · Gross State Product of 15-19 Billion US Dollars (PPP) and a Per capita income average of 685 US Dollars · Second largest non-oil economy in Nigeria · Population of about 9.4 million based on 2006 census and a current estimate of about 14 million people · There are over 1,754,200 hectares of cultivable land in the State · There are approximately 1.6 million micro, small and medium enterprises, 30% of which are run by women · Hosts over 400 manufacturing enterprises; leading sub-sectors as leather tanning, seed processing, rice milling, textiles, and animal feed production · Kano has some of the best infrastructure networks in Nigeria, with well serviced roads connecting it directly with the nation’s capital Abuja as well as States like Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Bauchi and Plateau · Kano is served by a rail line from Nigeria’s premier seaport in Lagos to most of the northern as well as Southern States · It has an international airport, the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, which has been in operation since 1936, when the first plane landed in Nigeria. The airport hosts domestic, regional, international as well as cargo flights regularly · In 2010, the World Bank ranked Kano as 8th in Nigeria in the ease of doing business, ahead of Lagos, Enugu, Abuja, Kaduna and Calabar. · Kano is home to Nigeria Commodity Stock Exchange · Kano is the commercial centre of the North of Nigeria with all the 22 Banks operating in the country having their presence in the State. Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, mine is to give some welcome remarks while a befitting welcoming address will be given by the President of the KACCIMA, Alhaji Umar Rabiu Farouk. I thank you very much for your presence at this occasion and for listening. Engr. Mustafa Balarabe Shehu, FNSE Chairman, Trade Fair Committee.