The first Lagos International Trade Fair opened on Sunday (27 November) with strong Western representation and healthy world interest.
GV: Lagos Trade Fair symbol and tented pavilions. (TWO SHOTS)
SV: Nigerian President General Olusegun Obasanjo arriving and alighting from car.
MCU: General Obasanjo, speaking in English.
President and party enters French exhibition.
SV EXT: Federal Republic of Germany exhibit.
CU: Exhibit PAN TO Nigerians viewing.
SV: President and party viewing.
MV: President on telephone.
CU: Motor engine PAN TO President and party.
SV: President and party walking out of British pavilion.
OBASANJO: "The Federal Military Government is convinced that we must produce what we need. We must curtail our appetite for what we do not produce. To ensure this we have directed all efforts at laying the basis for the emergency of indigenous capital and innovative abilities. Nigeria wants to increase the volume and value of her world trade. Nigeria wants to reduce its area of dependence on the factories of the industrialised economies. Nigeria wishes to bring its manufactured products to the world market. True enough, it is an interdependent world, but we in Nigeria today are overdependent on other economies for non-vital and non-essential goods, which does not help our development."
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Background: The first Lagos International Trade Fair opened on Sunday (27 November) with strong Western representation and healthy world interest. The Nigerians hope it will promote their country's export trade and attract investors. Development of the site will continue after the Fair ends on December the 11th to become a permanent exhibition area, with hotel and leisure facilities.
SYNOPSIS: The vast trade fair complex has cost an estimated 180 million U.S. dollars and will make Lagos the showcase for the Economic Community of West African States. The President of Nigeria's Supreme Military Council, General olusegun Obasanjo opened the Fair.
The President, accompanied by the fair's director Mr. Olufemi Akande, then toured exhibits, including that of France, endeavouring to improve relations with Nigeria, which have been strained during the last decade. Many Western countries are represented as well as Eastern Europe although the Soviet Union suddenly withdrew before the Fair opened. The goods displayed vary from domestic electrical goods to giant engineering machines.
Nigeria's investment in the permanent trade centre has come in the wake of an economic boom caused by oil exports, and the potential of gas and other natural resources. These make the country Africa's first regional power of international stature and has led to important projects in housing and communications system.