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Business

Concessionaire moves to stop handover of National Arts Theatre to CBN

FG has been asked to stop the handover of the National Arts Theatre to the CBN pending the determination of a suit in court.

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Topwide Consortium, a concessionaire, has asked the Federal Government to stop the handover of the National Arts Theatre to the Bankers’ Committee, led by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pending the determination of the suit in court.

This follows the disruption of its rights as the concessionaire to the National Arts Theatre after the firm had mobilized direct local and foreign investments in excess of $2 billion under the concession agreement.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the call is contained in a statement issued by Topwide Consortium Project Director, Mr Chris Ogan, on Saturday, March 6, 2021, in Awka.

READ: FG hands National Theatre over to CBN, Bankers Committee

What the Topwide Consortium Project Director is saying

Chris Ogan who initiated the suit said, “We are using this opportunity to reiterate our answer that the suit is very much pending and for which we have retained two commercial law Senior Advocates of Nigeria.’’

He said a motion for an interlocutory injunction to restrain any interference with the subject of the suit filed by their lawyers was also pending before the courts.

He also said the suit was filed in December 2019, with CBN, the Minister for Information, Tourism and Culture and Access Bank Plc. as some of the defendants.

READ: CBN to prevent exporters with unrepatriated export proceeds from banking services

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Other defendants are Herbert Wigwe representing the Bankers Committee, the Board of the National Theatre, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and Attorney-General of the Federation.

“The case was to come up on Dec. 15, 2020, but the Federal High Court, Lagos, which is hearing the case did not sit and it later adjourned the case to March 18, 2021.

We were also contracted to develop a high rise car park and provide appropriate connections to the Lagos light rail Metro Blue Line station planned for the National Theatre Complex.

“The agreement is that upon completion of the rehabilitation, the upgraded National Theatre would be handed over to the Federal Government for the continued management by the Board of the Complex,” he said.

READ: Stamp Duty Probe: Reps act tough, reveal 14 banks are owing N1.5bn

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He also said that they were surprised at the news of the planned takeover of the complex by the Bankers’ Committee, after the Attorney-General of the Federation signed-off finally on the concession agreement on May 3, 2017, and Road Shows were organised in Lagos, Abuja, Johannesburg, Dubai, London and New York to woo investors.

He said, “Our lawyers, on our instructions, wrote letters-dated Oct. 24, 2019, to all the concerned Federal Government agencies/agents to desist from tampering with our concession contract.’

None of the officers/agencies ever replied the letters and shunned our entreaties for meetings to clear whatever misunderstanding that informed their actions.’’

READ: CBN, Bankers committee back N3.5 trillion stimulus package for Nigeria

Ogan, therefore, called for strict compliance with due process and rule of law, over the handling of the matter.

He said forging ahead with the handover would not only result in contempt of the courts but also an embarrassment of Nigeria, before international investors.

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What you should know

  • It could be recalled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on February 10, 2021, approved an agreement that will lead to the renovation of the National Theater, Iganmu, Lagos for N21 billion.
  • Subsequently, on February 15, 2021, the Bankers’ Committee, led by Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Government with Cappa & D’Alberto Limited as the main contractors, Nairda Limited as the electrical sub-contractor and VACC Limited as the mechanical sub-contractor for the project
  • The Federal Government said the renovation will create thousands of jobs among other benefits.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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Business

Lagos State seeks investors in aquatic and livestock agriculture value chain

The Commissioner revealed that the scheme was in line with the State’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap.

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Lagos State begins recruitment for Agripreneurship programme, Sanwo-Olu confirms Abisola Olusanya as new Agriculture commissioner

The Lagos State Government announced it is seeking private sector collaboration for Agriculture sector value chain development in livestock feed mills, fisheries and red meat.

This was disclosed by the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.

The Commissioner revealed that the scheme was in line with the State’s five-year strategic agriculture roadmap, as the State identified the 3 main sectors for value chain disruption.

READ: Lagos goes tough on illegal conversion of land use, enforcement begins in Ikeja GRA, Lekki, others

She also added that investment in the sectors would also develop jobs for the industry and boost the State’s GDP growth, through Private Sector collaboration as Lagos residents consume over N5 trillion worth of food annually.

“The objective is to stimulate and encourage more public-private partnerships in the three value chains,” she said.

“When you consider this pool of transactions happening in Lagos, it shows that we are the market. For instance, we demand over 400,000 metric tons of fish on an annual basis.

“But our fishermen and our aquaculture farmers are only able to produce just about 174,000 metric tons with deficit of 200,000 metric tons,” she added.

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READ: CBN invests over N120 billion on 320,000 farmers across CTG within four years

She also disclosed that the state has 9,000 artisanal fishermen, and bringing more youths into the space will increase the level of fish and seafood being harnessed from our water bodies. Looking at the transactional value on an annual basis, the fisheries sector is worth well over N120billion according to her.

In case you missed it: Nigeria exported agricultural products worth N321.5 billion in 2020, representing a 19.16% increase when compared to N269.8 billion recorded in 2019 and a 6.27% increase compared to N302.28 billion recorded in 2018.

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Business

#DigitalSkillsTraining: FG announces conclusion of selection process

Only successful applicants that are contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue.

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President Buhari to address Nigerians on Lekki toll plaza shootings after investigation , Youth Investment Fund:  Ministry of Finance and CBN to launch provision of funds- Minister, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports launch DEEL initiative

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Youth and Sports disclosed that the selection process for the upcoming Digital Skills Training has been concluded for the #DigitalSkillsTraining from April 11th to 30th, 2021.

This was disclosed in a statement by the Ministry of Youth and Sport on Sunday evening.

“The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development wishes to inform the general public and all Nigerian Youths that the selection process has been concluded for successful applicants for the #DigitalSkillsTraining scheduled for April 11 to 30, 2021,” the statement said.

The Ministry added that only successful applicants that were contacted by the Ministry are to report at the training venue. Those who were not successful but arrive at the training would not be admitted.

Upcoming #DigitalSkillsTraining Programmes of the Ministry will be widely publicized on youthandsport.gov.ng , on : noya.ng and on the Ministry’s social media handles,” the statement added.

What you should know 

Recall that Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that the Ministry of Youths and Sports Development announced it will scale up its digital skills training to cover 500,000 youths across the country after securing funding under the COVID-19 stimulus budget.

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