The Bureau of Public Enterprises has denied plans it will sell the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LIFTC). The agency made this known in a press release issued today.
The news comes on the heels of protests that broke out yesterday and led to the complex being shut down. Operations have however resumed.
What’s the plan ? : Rather than sell, the BPE has decided it will concession the complex through a competitive bidding process.
Concession simply means the complex will be handed over to an operator, for a fixed period of time. After this has lapsed, the agreement could be extended or other options considered.
Previous attempt: Aulic Nigeria Limited was awarded the concession in 2008. However, the National Council on Privatisation had, in September 2018, approved the revocation of the concession of the trade fair complex.
Aulic’s side: Aulic has however kicked against this, stating a proper handover never took place. The firm’s company secretary Dan Udeh, in an interview conducted a few years ago, stated it was unable to take full possession of the property.
“We won the bid and paid all the fees that were stipulated –N200 million entry fees and another N12 million on what they call Chartels and others. At the end of the day, the management board that was the original managers, by the spirit of the concession, was supposed to leave that place and allow the concessionaire come on board. But it did not. The management board sat down there since 2007. They refused to let go of their vice grip over areas that were concessioned to AULIC.
The firm, therefore, had to develop the other sections of the complex, in order to generate revenue.