BPE to Select New Concessionaire for Trade Fair Complex

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  •   Recovers N6.5bn debt from Aulic

Chineme Okafor in Abuja

The National Council on Privatisation (NCP) has mandated the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to immediately initiate fresh processes for a new concession transaction on the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC) which it recently withdrew from Aulic Nigeria Limited.

Indicating that Aulic had not remitted to the federal government its financial dues in the concession agreement in the last 10 years, the NCP equally asked the BPE to recover a total of N6, 542,172,000 allegedly owed the government as amount overdue to it from Aulic.

While giving further reasons for its recent decision to revoke the concession agreement it had with Aulic on LITFC, the NCP said nothing other than a protracted breach of various aspects of the lease agreement by Aulic informed its action.

It listed several instances that Aulic breached its concession agreements with it, and directed the BPE to ensure that a new concessionaire for the 322-hectares complex along Lagos-Badagry Expressway was concluded within six months.

Despite an existing court process on the government disagreement with Aulic over the LITFC concession, the NCP on September 4, announced its revocation of concession. The development has also thrown up reactions from different stakeholders involved in the complex.

But in an explanatory document on the concession disagreement by the NCP which THISDAY obtained yesterday in Abuja, the government allegedly received only about N212 million (N200 million as entry fee, and another N12,731,000 for immovable assets) from Aulic since it took over the complex in 2007, and this is despite the terms of the contract which stated that Aulic will pay N40 billion as concession fee on LITFC over 30 years.

The document also noted that Aulic had in breach of the contract it signed with the government and development plan of the complex, sub-leased parts of the facility to third parties without appropriate approval from the government.
It noted that the lawn tennis court and land spaces running into hectares of land were illegally sub-leased by Aulic to Motor Dealers and Allied Products Association; Old Mercedes Trucks Spare Parts and Scrap Metal Dealers Association; Coker Building Materials Dealers Association; and Chinese Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) for an upward of 20 years and huge financial returns to Aulic.

“Council may note that Aulic’s serial breaches of the concession contract include: uncoordinated tool gates manned by touts; the road network to the complex is in a deplorable state; Aulic has no standard management team; refuse dumps litter the estate at all times, at least three ‘mammy markets’ have sprung up in the complex with a lot of miscreants and hoodlums operating there; since the handover of the complex to Aulic in 2008 till date, the exhibition halls have been in a deplorable state, compelling the Lagos State Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) to relocate their yearly trade fairs to Tafawa Balewa Square,” the document added.