The organisers of the 2018 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) have said the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has no reason to disrupt the fair due to the national strike called by the labour unions, saying the strike will generate more visitors for the fair.
Speaking with reporters on Monday in Lagos, the Chairman, Trade Promotion Board of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Mr Gabriel Idahosa, said there has not been any indication for disruption or communication from the NLC to indicate that the strike will affect the fair.
According to him, the labour union is aware that LCCI, the organisers of the fair, is a voluntary, non-profit organisation and not a member of the negotiation team, which consists of government agencies, private sector organisations and the labour union itself.
“Disrupting the fair doesn’t contribute to pursuing their objectives. There are exhibitors from 14 countries and significant parts of the exhibitors are international people.
“I don’t think labour union will want to disrupt a fair that is in the calendar of the international trade fair and which holds at the same time every year.
“So far, there is no indication and communication from the labour unions to tell us the strike will affect the fair,” he said.
He hinted journalists of plans to forestall security breach by miscreants who could take advantage of the strike to cause mayhem.
“We have made concrete arrangements on security just in case the strike goes out of control and we have made provisions for enough diesels to power our generator,” he noted.
Idahosa, who is also the Vice President of LCCI, said the nationwide strike will be to their advantage as visitors are expected to turn out enmasse at the fair “except if there is a total lock down of transportation.”
He added that a lot of companies and government agencies will be shut down, “so, we expect more visitors to be at the fair if they are not going to work.”
He, however, urged the government to do the needful to avert the strike.
“Due to the extent of the strike and its impact on the economy, we believe that the strike will not be for many days.
“When a strike of this magnitude that threatens to paralyse the economy is on, there should be a lot of efforts to bring it to an end,” he said.
Concerning the fair, he noted that the level of complaints by the exhibitors has been reduced in the 2018 edition compared to previous years, adding that there was an uninterrupted power supply for the first four days of the fair, a feat which he said has never been achieved in previous fairs.
The provision of an exhibitor’s service centre for complaints and booking online for space before the fair, among others, have been an improvement when comparing the 2018 edition with past editions.