20 April 2013, Port Harcourt – As part of its efforts to economically empower the Egi people, Total in collaboration with the Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, PHCCIMA, and other stakeholders, has organised a Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, SME, Trade & Investment Fair.
The eight-day fair, which held last week at the SME-DN Centre, Obite, near Port Harcourt, Rivers State, attracted over 100 exhibitors.
The fair is aimed at facilitating the emergence of at least 5,000 sustainable small businesses and 10,000 new jobs by the year 2020 with a view to reducing over-dependence on the oil and gas sector.
It is the first time such an economic fair is taking place in the area.
A statement by Total said the forum afforded entrepreneurs the opportunity to showcase and sell their goods and services while also providing a platform for entrepreneurs, investors and their customers and clients to exchange business ideas, establish partnerships and business relationships, explore new supply chains and access new market opportunities.
“Total is supporting the Egi City Trade and Investment fair to see that these enterprises prosper and grow, as well as compliment efforts of the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency, RSSDA, to establish the Rivers North Growth Pole.
“This is the strategy aimed at transforming Egi into an economic hub with intention of spreading its economic prosperity to other neighbouring communities in ONELGA”, said Total Nigeria’s Managing Director, Mr. Guy Maurice in an address read on his behalf by the Deputy Managing Director, Port Harcourt District, Mr. Nicolas Brunet.
The Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Gift Ake, commended Total for supporting the fair, which, he stated, would accelerate economic development in the area.
Other speakers also commended the company for the initiative to build the economic capacity of its host community. They include the Eze Egi, HRM Eze (Dr) Kingdom Elemchukwu Elenwa and the Chairman of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local council, Hon. Austin Ahiamadu.
The Egi City Trade & Investment Fair is the result of 5 years’ effort by Total and other development partners to stimulate sustainable local economic development in the host communities.