Govt, Tinapa, firm set for ‘world largest Trade Fair’ in Calabar

To boost the economy of the Cross River State, the Management of Tinapa Business Resort and the Cliqit, an e-commerce business management and development platform, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to organize the ‘world largest Trade Fair’ in Calabar, the state capital. The Trade Fair, where not less than 10,000 vendors of goods and service are expected to participate, is to be introduced into the annual Calabar Carnival Festival in December, through a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV): the Calabar International Trade Fair (CITF). The Fair is expected to increase the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state up to N5bn on the long run with about 15, 000 jobs created through small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), while empowering people with skill acquisition. The Cross-River State Commissioner for Finance and Managing Director (MD) of Tinapa, Asuquo Ekpenyong, at the signing ceremony in Calabar, acknowledged that Tinapa was not doing well and there was need to bring back its economic values. Ekpenyong, who has only been on the Management of Tinapa for about a month, said his team had identified the challenges that inhibited Tinapa and was ready to tackle them, adding that the MoU would ultimately contribute to the development of the state when executed. The Commissioner asserted his faith in the success of the project, saying there was no infrastructural platform such as the Tinapa Business Resort in the whole of West Africa. In his remarks, the founder/CEO of Cliqit, Gerald Konwea,the brain behind the project, described the project as a history making venture which is why the Guinness World Records is involved. “This is going to be arguably the biggest Trade Fair in the world. There are though big Trade Fairs in Germany with up to 7,000 vendors and there are even bigger Trade Fairs in China, except the numbers are on Chinese websites, there are no numbers on Google or websites that reflect on Google to suggest otherwise,” he said. Gerald disclosed that the project is expected to increase the IGR of the state significantly from N12.7 billion to N14.9 billion yearly by 2016 – 2019, and an additional N2 – 5 billion from 2020 onwards.

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