Event vendors and planners in Ogun State have collectively appealed to the government to bolster the production of locally made equipment and empower youth in the field as a means to elevate the nation’s economic standards.
This plea came during a symposium held in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, on Tuesday with the theme “The 21st Century Event Vendors.”
The leader of M19 Event Planner and convener of the event, Bola Solate, passionately expressed her concerns about the heavy reliance on imported equipment, describing it as a substantial financial burden for event planners and vendors in the region.
She stressed that empowering engineering graduates to manufacture event-related equipment within Nigeria would significantly alleviate this burden and contribute to the nation’s growth.
Solate emphasized that event planners are not just service providers but entrepreneurs actively contributing to the economic development of the country.
She pointed out that while many event entrepreneurs offer services, some are involved in rentals, food services, and other aspects of the industry, which often require importing various items.
For instance, she highlighted the cost disparity between imported safari chairs, which can be purchased for around N28,000-30,000 in Nigeria, and the cost price in China, which is only N6,000.
Solate emphasized that the government could play a crucial role in supporting local production and manufacturing efforts.
She stated, “We have some graduates who study engineering and can do a lot of things here in Nigeria if the government can empower them, we will be buying locally in a way that creates employment and puts value on our economy.”
Furthermore, she emphasized the need for accessible loans for event planners and vendors. Solate argued that the Bank of Industry should extend financial support to event planners, just as it does for farmers and traders.
She asserted, “The Bank of Industry is more for farmers and traders alone, thinking that Event Planners are just for service.
As an Event planner, I need chair covers, table covers, and flowers. These flowers we don’t do them in Nigeria; we have to import them, and this is where the government can be of help.”
In a similar vein, the President of Rotary Club Abeokuta, Motunrayo Adijat Adeleye, offered her personal support to event vendors and planners. She encouraged them to maintain unity and emphasized the importance of their relationship with the government.
She stated, “As for the government, they have been told and have equally echoed that it’s a give-and-take relationship, not a one-sided relationship. So, they shouldn’t be afraid to relate with the government.
They have a role with the government, while the government also has a role with them.
There is power in numbers, and in their unity, they have a whole lot to gain from the government.”
The symposium provided a platform for event vendors and planners in Ogun State to voice their concerns and call for government support in promoting local production and empowering the youth in their industry.
Their collective efforts aim to reduce the financial burden of importing equipment and contribute to the economic development of the region.
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