Youths Lament Role Of Middlemen At Trade Fair

Many youths who thronged the on-going Lagos International Trade Fair said on Sunday  that middlemen have prevented them from making good money at the fair.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that middlemen collect huge sums from the  exhibitors and pay them little.

Some of the youths who came from neighbouring states said that the trend was  different from that of last year when one could negotiate directly with an  exhibitor.

Mr. Ayo Akande, a student, who claimed to have come from Ondo State, said that “the  high charges have made the foreign exhibitors to demand for fewer hands that they  can pay.

“This has reduced the number of employment opportunities drastically when compared  to 2009 trade fair.

“To worsen the situation, most of the middlemen had engaged many hands in advance  to the detriment of those of us that came from outside Lagos.

“You can see that most of us that came from states are yet to secure jobs three  days into the fair,’’ Akande said.

Miss Blessing Odion, who got an offer as a sales girl, said that most of the firms  pay between N15,000 and N20,000 for the 10-day duration of the fair.

Mr. Udoh Akpan, a leader of a dance group, said that a dancer could get as much as  N40,000 at the end of the fair.

“We decided to form group this year and coordinate ourselves properly.

“This has really given us an edge in terms of pricing. We are getting good bargain  for our services unlike the previous years that we worked round the clock and got  little.

“You know that dancing is very tedious and exhibitors from Asian countries engage  our services because they want us to dance round the clock to attract customers,’’  Akpan said.

Mr. Godwin Cock, Sales Manager of Profectiv Venture, a firm into cosmetics, said  that sales girls and dancers were engaged to attract visitors to the pavilions and  showcase products.

“This trade fair has not come of age for visitors to locate exhibitors without been  directed,” Cock said.

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