Activities of commercial sex works are overshadowing those of exhibitors and traders at the 2016 Jos Trade Fair, holding at the Jos Polo Field, in Jos North local government area of Plateau state.
A PREMIUM TIMES’ reporter at the trade fair Thursday night noticed hordes of young sex workers brazenly soliciting patronage by male participants at the event.
One of the young workers, who refused to give her name, said the illicit trade was booming because the cold weather in the city made exhibitors and visitors from outside the city disposed to their services and other available forms of hospitality.
She said the charges ranged from N1500 to N2000, “depending on the personality of both the man and lady”. She added, “as a lady, if you appear shabby, people will price you cheaply.”
Illicit trade in sex is however not the only odd business noticed by our reporter at the venue of the event on Thursday night.
Officials issuing ticketing at the gate increased the fare to N200, even though the tickets still bore the official price of N100.
Some of the officials were also noticed giving free passage to some visitors, especially ladies.
The trade fair was declared open on October 18 by the deputy governor of Plateau state, Sonni Tyoden. It will run until Thursday next week.
At the opening ceremony, Mr. Tyoden assured participants of security in the state.
At the Plateau state local government pavilions, 17 council areas of the state displayed different types of sold minerals and varieties of improved food crops.
Bulus Dareng, the president of the state chamber of commerce, industry, mines and agriculture (PLACCIMA), who are organizers of the trade fair, said the products being exhibited by both local and foreign exhibitors had been certified by the Standards Organization of Nigeria, SON.
Mr. Dareng said the participation of foreigners at the trade fair will boost the economy of Nigeria.
“We have put everything in place to provide a fertile ground for cross fertilization and exchange of ideas, technology, innovations and professional services through the trade fair.”
The PLACCIMA president reiterated that adequate measures had been put in place for the security of exhibitors and visitors.
“We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of lives and properties of everyone. Security personnel will be at strategic positions to monitor happenings within the vicinity of the trade fair. Security network at the trade fair will be on 24-hour surveillance, and once caught (for any infraction), the full wrath of the law will be brought to bear.”
The special adviser to the state governor on media, Dan Manjang, said the trade fair was being staged to prove that permanent peace has returned to the state and to showcase to the world that the state was safe for investment.
About 3000 exhibitors and 70,000 visitors are participating at the trade fair.