By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) has said that there was no plan to sell the Lagos International Trade Fair complex to any individual or corporate organization.
Reacting to Monday’s protests by traders at the complex, the Head, Public Communications, of the bureau, Amina Othman, said, in Abuja, yesterday, that the federal government would only concession the complex to a new operator, as the old concession arrangement had been terminated since AUGUST 2017.
She said, “For the avoidance of doubt, the Bureau states that the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), does not intend to sell the Complex rather the facility would be concessioned through a competitive transaction process.
“It is for this reason that the Government has procured the Services of Messrs Feedback Infrastructure Services to advise on the way forward for the proposed concession. It is apt to inform the public that the Bureau on Friday, March 1, 2019, met with the entire Traders’ Associations to explain the essence of the planned Concession.
“It would be recalled that the Bureau had on August 23, 2017, placed a Caveat Emptor in some national newspapers in the country wherein, it stated that the lease agreement that was hitherto executed by the FGN in favour of Aulic Nigeria Limited had been validly terminated and possession reverted to the FGN with effect from 23rd day of August 2017.”
Othman said that members of the public had earlier been warned against buying or taking up any part of the complex on lease, after the termination of the lease agreement with Aulic Nigheria Limited.
“Members of the public were therefore warned that any purported allotment, buying, selling, letting, leasing, charging, and subdivision, construction upon or dealings in connection with the said property and parcels of land in any other manner howsoever without the written permission of the FGN represented by the BPE is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent and amounts to trespass,” she said.
She added that the public had been warned that any person who entered into transactions in the complex “would lose their money as the FGN through the BPE would neither honour agreements, contracts or arrangements entered into with person(s) purporting to have authority to transact the property and or parcels of land whether in the manner described or in any other manner whatsoever nor will it re-imburse any monies paid in respect of such transaction.”
Traders at the Trade Fair Complex located along the Lagos-Badagry who claimed they had rented or leased facilities in the complex embarked on a protest to the new move to concession the facility.
The protesters said that they feared that they would be suffer injustice should the federal government deny them such facilities in the event that the complex was handed over to another concessionaire.