The awarded company failed to settle payment on time
The Exhibition Centre & Market Development Enterprise terminated its 110 million birr contract with Betahon Events to host two upcoming holiday bazaars over payment delays.
Betahon was awarded the contract to host two holiday events at the Addis Ababa Bazaar & Exhibition Centre after offering a total of 111 million birr, 65 percent higher than the previous historic-high, given for the same event.
The termination is a major setback for the new entrant, which previously planned to host a financial sector exhibition dubbed the “Ethiopian Bank & Insurance Expo” in April of last year, but was cancelled due to concerns over COVID-19.
The event company submitted a bid of 68 million birr to host a Christmas Bazaar, which was expected to be opened in the coming two weeks, while it offered a record-high 43 million birr to host the Easter event.
Betahon, which has no experience in hosting a holiday bazaar at the exhibition center, was given the contract to host the two events at the center, which incorporates four pavilions with 300 booth, after vying with five bidders, including the industry veteran Century General Trading, Eyoha Addis Entertainment and Commercial Nominees.
According to Tilahun Tadesse, General Manager of the Exhibition Centre, even though the Enterprise gave time to Betahon to settle 60 percent of the payment until mid-day December 10, 2021, they failed to do so.
“Understanding challenges such as the suspension of the loan and the State of Emergency decree, we have given more time, for the company to settle the payment, but they failed to use the opportunity,” Tilahun said.
Tilahun also admitted that his office even extended the time allotted to pay 20 percent of the payment by the awarded company.
“We have not received any payment from the company. Hence, we have enough reasons to justify our decision to terminate the contract,” Tilahun added.
Experts were voicing their concerns for years that offers being given to host the exhibition center are exaggerated, a situation which they believe would end up hurting consumers by surging prices of items traded at the center.
“We want to buck the trend,” said Tilahun, disclosing that his office will organize the two events with no willingness to float another tender.
The Enterprise is planning to make a 20 percent price discount for exhibitors and is currently under preparation to host the Christmas Bazaar, which will be the first time in two decades.
“We will also host the Easter Bazaar by our own thanks to our experience in event organizing and the network we have built with traders,” said Tilahun who believes that hosting the two events will help the Enterprise earn more profit while ensuring that consumers get items for an affordable price.
The Reporter’s repeated attempts to contact representatives of Betahon Events did not bear fruit.