Search for new concessionaire begins, as board takes over Lagos Trade Fair

The Federal Government, through the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), has sacked Aulic Nigeria Limited over breach of contract that was signed in 2007.

This is coming after a protracted tussle with the concessionaire of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex.

Besides poor management of the complex, which led to decay of infrastructure, Aulic is also being accused of not reminting of lease fees totally in the last nine years.

Speaking at a media briefing in Lagos to announce the official takeover by the Lagos Trade Fair Management Board, its Executive Director, Mrs. Lucy Ajayi said the event was to inform the whole world that the Board had formally taken over the complex from Aulic Nigeria Limited owned by Nicolas Eze.

Ajayi, who lamented the poor state of the complex, assured stakeholders that the board would now be able to perform its statutory function and move the complex to greater heights.

“Aulic hasn’t paid us a dime since 2008 and the contract was N40 billion for 30 years. He has spent nine years and he hasn’t paid us a dime. His contract was a developmental contract, but as you can see, it is just the opposite.

“You can hear from the stakeholders too; we won’t allow this to continue. I think he has overstayed his welcome,” she said.

She assured stakeholders and occupants of the complex of government’s commitment to ensuring that a new management is put in place within the next six months, adding that the search for a new concessionaire has since begun.

“The NCP’s decision then was to cancel the agreement and immediately re-concession it within six months. So, the process is on with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE). I think they have advertised for transaction advisers. So, the process is on to re-concession what we have taken from Aulic,” she added.

While addressing the shop owners, Ajayi assured them that they were in an era of new change, adding that the board would ensure that their interests were considered.

The Chairman, Stakeholders Forum, Lagos International Trade Fair Complex, Mr. Jude Okeke, who spoke at the event, described the takeover by the management board as a huge relief.

The termination letter stated that illegalities perpetrated over the years by the concessionaire vary from the non-remittance of the lease fees to the alleged eviction of the management board from the administrative building, among others.

The letter stated that the NCP terminated the concession agreement on August 23, but took some time to implement the decision due to logistics and security reasons.

Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had on November 20, issued a directive that the concessionaire be evicted from the complex and was carried out adequately.

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