By Franklin Alli
AULIC Nigeria Limited has demanded for the handover of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex by the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).
The company has also said that this yearâ€™s exhibition would be different to what exhibitors and visitors have been used to over the years as companies would have all their fairsÂ indoor.Â Itâ€™ll be recalled that Aulic took over the trade fair complex as the management concessionaire one year ago from the defunct Management Board of the complex.
â€œA full handover of the complex by the BPE would enable us to put our feet down and implement our development plans to transform the complex into international standard.
As soon as government hands over, we are going to swing into action. It is not only Aulic. There are other people waiting to come in once everything is completed. Service providers all over the world are waiting on government to fulfil its own side of the bargain.,â€ said the Group Managing Director/ CEO, Dr. Nick Ezeh.
Speaking, Tuesday, a head of the 2009 Lagos International Trade Fair taking off tomorrow, Friday, Ezeh said that within a year, the company has proved its competence to manage the facility, stating â€œ since the company took over as management concessionaire we have gone far in rehabilitating infrastructures on ground, namely, the admin blocks, roads network, water supply, sewage, and refuse, introduced luxurious buses to ease transportation within the complex, etc.â€
â€œ If you look around, you would see a lot of facelifts although government is yet to complete its own side of the bargain which is to hand over the complex to us free of all encumbrances.
â€œSo we are still waiting for government. In the main time, we have been able to rehabilitate some of the facilities that were decaying. If you go to the exhibition hall which is the main attraction to the complex, you would see that we have reconstructed and rehabilitated the place so that it would be ready and available for the November exhibition. We have not startedÂ runningÂ other facilities because they have not been completely handed over to us by BPE.â€
He further disclosed that in addition to the N40 billion cash bid price paid to the Federal Government, Aulic has voted an additional N17. 9 billion for infrastructural transformation and re -branding of the complex to international standard.
He recalled that the complex wasÂ built and commissioned in 1977 under a Turnkey contract by M/S Energo Project Engineering and Construction Company, Belgrade, Yugoslavia.Â It was purposely built to strengthen the industrial transactions between Nigeria entrepreneurs and their foreign counterparts through trade fairs and exhibitions, conferences, and tourism.
â€œWe want to bring them back.Â First, we want to create environment that will support these services. What we need to do is to make sure that these services are provided.Â And then there are other support services that must be there before these services take – off.