The President of Trade Promotion Board, Michael Olawale-Cole, on Sunday attributed the low turnout of foreign exhibitors at the 2014 Lagos International Trade Fair to fear of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).
Mr. Olawale-Cole told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the organisation lost a large number of foreign exhibitors due to the fear of Ebola.
“By the time the country was certified free of Ebola by WHO, it was too late for most of this countries to come,” Mr. Olawale said. “They (foreign exhibitors) will need a lot of preparation which will require a month or even three months. Thousands of people who would have come from China, Europe and even some African countries, out of fear, decided to stay away.’’
He said that the harm was done as soon as the Liberian-American, Patrick Sawyer, imported the EVD into the country on July 20.
Mr. Olawale-Cole told NAN that LCCI released information weekly to prospective exhibitors about the Ebola-free status of the country.
Some of the exhibitors at the trade fair had sanitisers at the entrance of their stalls for usage by prospective customers.
The fair will end on Nov. 16. (NAN)