Vendors in Ogun State have been urged to collaborate and liaise with the government in order to enable them formulate policies that will foster growth in their businesses.
Yemisi Folarin, Director of investment, ministry of industry, trade and investment who made the appeal on Tuesday at the maiden edition of the Ogun Events’ Vendors symposium, emphasized that a partnership would enable them to work with other sectors not only as event planners but also as investors in the economy of the state.
“ As with every business, the government is focusing on easing and on improving the ease of doing business for everybody in the state. One of the ways that we can work to target the event planning industry is for that industry to liaise with the government. We liaise with several industries, we have stakeholders meetings and their input is what helps the government create policies that will affect them positively.
The symposium with the theme” The 21st Century Event Vendors” was held at Emfelix event hall Ajebo road Abeokuta, the state capital.
The symposium which had over 200 registered vendors present, according to Bola Solate, the lead of person of M19 Event Planner and convener of the symposium was intended to train all event vendors in Ogun state.
She however disclosed that event planners do not have easy access to finance, suggesting that the Bank of Industry should identify event planners in the same manner that farmers and traders are recognized.
While bemoaning that the importation of equipment is a burden on them, she suggested that the government should empower engineering graduates to produce some of the equipment used in the industry.
” What we do as event entrepreneurs is more than services, we have event entrepreneurs who are also into rentals, some make food and they import some of the things they use”.
“The safari chairs we are using in Nigeria are imported and cost between N28,000-30,000 and the cost price in China is N6,000. 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.
“We want the government to earmark money for event planners when are just rendering service we are entrepreneurs. We want them to give us a chance for easy access to loans, and make the rate bearable for us to access the loan”.
“The Bank of Industry there is more for farmers and all 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 these in Nigeria we have to import them and this is where the government can be of help”.
Meanwhile, the former commissioner for culture and tourism in Ogun State, Hon. Adijat Adeleye assured them of maximum support as an individual, while urging them to keep the tempo high and remain together at all times.
” At times is easier for u to start something but sustaining it is a big issue, I want to encourage them to continue on the part they have started they will have differences even husband and wife that are married and live in the same house do have differences but they should always know how to resolve it.
“As for government they have been told and have equally echoed that, is a give-and-take relationship not one said relationship so they shouldn’t be afraid to relate with the government, they have a role with the government while the government also a role with them”.
Sideline of the event includes award presentation and display of cultural dance.