THIRTY-seven affiliated Japanese firms, their agents and local distributors exhibiting at the on-going Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) were the delight of visitors who thronged the Japan Pavilion, drawn mostly by its array of innovative and quality products.
The LITF is West Africas largest international exhibition. The 10-day event started last Friday, at the Main Bowl of the Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos, Nigeria. It will end on November 10.
The fair, which features Nigerian and foreign exhibitors from various sectors, is an opportunity for exhibitors to showcase their products, inventions, services and innovations to Nigerian and foreign participants.
The Japanese firms won the hearts of not a few visitors who could not resist their exciting innovation and quality products on display.
Some of the exhibitors located at the Japan Pavilion told The Nation on Saturday that they were at the fair to showcase the best of Japanese innovation and quality to customers.
For instance, the Country Manager of Sato Nigeria, Mr. Michael Adegbe, said the company came to offer customers a smart choice for a better toilet experience. He said its range of innovative, smart and fresh toilets help upgrade latrines for rural-urban dwellers.
Adegbe stated that with the companys range of cost-effective, easy-to-install products, Sato Nigeria, which is a part of Lixil Corporation, Japan, was aimed at making Nigeria open defecation free.
We want Nigeria to achieve the 2025 target of becoming open defecation free. Thats why Sato is here, he said, noting that at the moment, many Nigerians practice open deification.
So, our products will solve the problem. I believe all of us have used a pit latrine before; you know the flies and the disease that cone out from there. Our technology helps eliminate these.
The interesting thing is that the products are affordable, safe and they save water. With a pack of sachet water, you can clean it after use, Adegbe said.
According to him, the retail price of the products ranges from N1,600 to N3, 000. And the good thing is that they can accommodate any user despite this or her body size.
Sato Deputy General Manager, Sales Coordination, Suguu Sakata, said the firm was in six African countries.
Also dangling the proverbial carrot in the form of innovative and quality products to visitors is Toyokalon, a Japanese company supplying Expression, a Nigerian company, the raw materials for making synthetic hair.
The Marketing Manager, Expression, Mrs. Grace Ejikeme, said while Toyokalon is owned by Denca, Japan, Expression is the Nigerian company that finishes the raw materials brought by Toyokalon.
They (Toyokalon) is giving us what we want and Nigeria and Africa as a whole is satisfied with what we produce with their raw material. The relationship has lasted for over a decade, Mrs. Ejikeme told The Nation. She also said the stream of visitors to its stand was a confirmation of its acceptance by Nigerians.
The Japan Pavilion, which is, arguably, the centre of attraction at the fair, caters for Japans huge presence. The pavilion, according to the Trade Commissioner/Managing Director, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Mr. Shigyo Nishizawa, was organised by JETRO in collaboration with the Embassy of Japan.
He told The Nation that the pavilion housed the 37 Japanese affiliated companies participating at this years fair, the highest number of Japanese companies ever to exhibit at the LITF.
Nishizawa noted that the year marks the sixth of JETROs participation at the fair since the organisation started in 2014 with the Japan pavilion, which is one of the biggest pavilions at the fair.
JETRO is a Japanese governmental organisation that promotes mutual trade and investment between Japan and the rest of the world. It focuses on promoting investment and facilitating trade from Japan to Nigeria.
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