Lagos Trade Fair Complex concession for review


The concessioning of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC) to Aulic Nigeria Limited, will be reviewed, Mr Samuel Ortom, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, said.

The minister said this in Abuja at a meeting with a committee raised to resolve a protracted dispute over the concessioning and business stakeholders operating at the complex.

Ortom is the Chairman of the committee set up by the National Council of Privatisation (NCP) to implement its recommendations on the LITFC concession.

He added that the impending review of the LITFC Concession Contract was one of the major recommendations of the NCP at its meeting on Jan. 22.

Among the NCP’s 15-point recommendations is the renegotiation of the contract by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the LITFC Management Board and the Ministry of Trade and Investment.

A copy of the recommendation paper, dated March 4 and signed by Mr Benjamin Dikki, the BPE acting Director-General, was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Thursday.

According to the paper, the NCP recommendations are based on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by all parties to the dispute.

It said the MoU was brokered by the Senate Ad-hoc Committee on activities of the BPE from 1999 to date.

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The NCP also recommended that the area of the complex occupied by the traders associations should be removed from the total area of the concession to the concessionaire.

Accordingly, Ortom assured representatives of the aggrieved traders associations that they would be taken away from the concession contract under Aulic Nigeria Ltd.

“We are also going to undertake a facility and financial audit and verification of your own portion of the complex to ascertain who the operators are and their status.

“At the end, we will eventually find a Special Purpose Vehicle or concessionaire that will manage its own area of the complex.’’

The minister pledged the commitment of the committee toward amicable resolution of the dispute to pave way for the development of the complex to international standard.

Ortom urged the stakeholders to quickly correct the committee where they thought it was going wrong, saying that he had no personal interest in the dispute.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report that the concession won by Aulic Nigeria Ltd. in 2008, had been halted by protracted dispute between LITFC Forum of Stakeholders and BPE.

The stakeholders had petitioned the National Assembly describing the concessioning as a breach of subsisting lease agreements between them and the management of the complex.

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