Disagreement Stalls Trade Fair Facelift


Redevelopment of the Lagos International Trade Fair site has stopped due to some disagreement between the concessionaire and traders at the complex.

Mr Geff Nwokolo, the Director of Operations of Aulic Nigeria Ltd, the concessionaire, said that development was stalled because the company could not gain control of the site.

Nwokolo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, on Thursday, that one of the reasons for this was that Federal Government had not granted the company total control of the complex.

According to him, the trade fair complex is one of the Federal Government’s assets which were privatised in 2008.

“We bided and won, having met all the criteria stipulated for us.

“We are yet to gain total control of the complex because of the agitation of the traders within the complex.

“These traders have refused to acknowledge the management concession granted to our organisation by the government,” he said.

Nwokolo said that the problem had been deliberated upon by the National Assembly and other stakeholders.

“Five years have rolled by without a meaningful resolution on the complex,” he said.

Nwokolo said that the company had not abandoned any infrastructure and dilapidated structure within the complex, adding that the company was working hard to put the complex in good condition.

“Our company is financially incapacitated to run the entire complex because the traders refused to pay their annual rents.

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“We have renovated the exhibition arena and completely roofed the administrative block that was leaking when we took over.

“We have fixed the nine satellite halls that were overgrown with weeds before the complex was concessioned to us,” he said.

Some of the traders in the complex, however, alleged that the concessionaire (Aulic Nigeria Ltd.) imposed gate fees on trucks and buses entering the complex without properly maintaining the facilities.

Mr Okwudili Chukwuma , the Secretary General, Auto Spare Parts and Machineries Dealers Association (ASPAMDA), told NAN that there was no meaningful development in the complex.

He said that this was in spite of the daily gate fees being collected by the concessionaire.

“Bus owners and truck drivers often pay between N200 and N800 to gain access into the complex. Traders pay money at the gate before they can bring in their goods.

“The only people exempted from paying money are private car owners.

“The roads in the complex are full of potholes.

“The lawns are overgrown with weeds, yet they collect N5, 000 from whoever crosses them,” he said.

Chukwuma appealed to the Federal Government to resolve the lingering problem between the traders in the complex and Aulic Nigeria Ltd. to guarantee proper maintenance of the complex.

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