Event planners call for investment in, regulation of industry

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Some stakeholders have urged governments to invest in and regulate the events and planning sector, in order to help businesses thrive, provide jobs and compete internationally.

They spoke in separate interviews with newsmen on Thursday in Lagos on the sidelines of a conference themed, ‘’Flowerxprops 3’’, organised by a school of décor, The Propsplace.

A decorator and the Creative Director, The Propsplace, Ms Damilola Osasuye, said that the industry could compete with other countries around the world, if government gave the sector the required attention.

‘’I wish the government can see the industry as what it is; a very big and creative industry that has taken Nigeria out to the diaspora, and therefore, help to regulate a lot of things.

‘’It is good to pay taxes, but, for instance, the venue owners are over-taxed, so it is affecting us, the decorators: they ask us for various charges because they are paying government too.

‘’Also, we do not have industries that can create some of the products that we import to reduce the cost of running business in the country.

‘’So, if the government sees the industry as big as it is, maybe, allow investors from abroad to start doing things that we are doing.

‘’China, for instance, does not make better decorations than we do here, but it makes a lot of money from us, who buy their items.

‘’What the government can do is to provide an enabling environment where people, who want to invest, can come here and build their industries; so that we do not have to be importing.

‘’Decors are capital intensive, but if we do not pay a lot of duties on those goods imported, it sort of relieves you as an entrepreneur and you can have your head straight, which helps your creativity, ‘’ Damilola said.

Also, Creative Director, Cinematics NG, Mr Nnanna Adim, said that conferences such as the flowerxprops were a plus for the country in terms of increasing the number of entrepreneurs and industries in the events space.

‘’It is also a big plus because it will create more job opportunities, activities for those in the industry and even those outside the industry.

‘’This is so because all industries are somehow connected: if there are events, there will be food: lightnings; media; logistics; safety, and health; they are all connected.

‘’So, this is a great way to get people to move a step ahead in the delivery, so that they can deliver better event and designs, thereby, improving the quality of service that Nigerian event decorators deliver to their clients.

In his remarks, a Dubai based designer and Founder, ALI BAKHTIAR DESIGNS, Mr Ali Bakhtiar, said that Nigeria had a lot of potential in the industry, given her resources.

Bakhtiar said, however, that much needed to be done to bridge the gap in the industry.

‘’Nigeria is a great potential and there is a lot of work that can be done in the industry: it is sort of like a white canvas, so there is a lot of creation and creativity that can be done.

‘’Also, I think here in Nigeria and also in Africa, there is a huge potential and gap between what can be done and what is done locally.

‘’I, personally, think that the country, and Africa, most especially, has so much richness, beauty and culture to offer, ‘’ he said.

Also, another events planner, an Executive Director, Nwandos Signature Limited, Mr Charles Nwonu, said that local manufacturing of decor props (decoration items) would go a long way in improving the designs.

‘’We import so much and the value of what we get from our clients is not adequate enough to buy some of those props; local manufacturing of these items will help us to be able to execute our job, ‘’ he said.