A rainstorm late Sunday disrupted the 2014 Delta State Trade Fair, Osubi, near Warri, resulting in the loss of goods worth several millions of naira by the exhibitors who had already pitched their tents and displayed their products.
Many exhibitors who were already on ground with their goods before the downpour were counting their losses when journalists arrived at the venue of the trade fair this morning.
The fair was to be declared open by the state government tomorrow, but the President of the Delta State Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (DACCIMA), Sir Simon Asite, said the exhibition had been postponed indefinitely due to the mishap.
“It is a very sad incident as you can see. We have been erecting stands and putting everything in place for proper takeoff. The programme was supposed to be declared open tomorrow (28-10-14). As it stands now, we have put everything on hold and we are counting our losses and planning the way forward.
“The traders who have already arrived lost all that they brought. In fact we are holding a meeting now and we have a very lengthy list of what we lost here. We cannot say exactly what we lost but it is over one hundred million naira that we lost to the storm. So many companies had erected their stand waiting for official opening and because of this disaster, we are putting everything on hold,” Asite said.
The traders urged the state governor to come to their aid, noting that the DACCIMA had resolved to give concessions to the exhibitors affected by the storm at the International Trade Fair billed for next year.
Consultant to Delta State Trade Fair Complex Osubi and Managing Director of Crown Media limited, Mr. Emmanuel Nwabuoku, described the storm as “alarming”.
“There was a heavy storm that led to this serious disaster. It was so heavy that goods worth hundreds of millions have gone down the drain and we are trying to talk to all our participants.
“NIMASA has been here to pick the remains of their goods that were destroyed. DESOPADEC sent a representative here also from their office that covered all the destroyed goods. We have Coca-cola. Royal Mall is packing the pieces of their goods and even Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku, too,’’ he said.
Godstime Akpovwovwo, one of those who witnessed the scene, said, “I just drove in, and on getting to the site, it started drizzling. Before I knew it, it increased and a very serious storm followed. It was a surprise actually.[share_this_post]
“I saw tents flying, zinc flying everywhere. I was reversing with full speed until my friend inside the car said I should stop and observe. If the government had erected structures in the place, I don’t think this thing would occur’’.
A security man with the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku, Simon Egege, lamented that the welding and fabrication items the school brought to the exhibition centre had been destroyed by the rainstorm.