The federal government says it has no plans to sell the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC).
The Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the government agency responsible for the sale of public enterprises, said its attention was drawn to the alleged closure of the trade fair complex along Badagry Expressway in Lagos by the traders’ association operating in the facility.
The traders’ association was said to be protesting the purported sale of the complex by the government.
But, the spokesperson of the privatisation agency, Amina Othman, allayed the traders’ fears over the allegation in a statement to PREMIUM TIMES on Tuesday. She assured there was no such plan by the government.
“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,” Ms Othman said.
She said it was as a result of the proposed concession plan that the government procured the services of Messrs Feedback Infrastructure Services to advise on the way forward.
As part of the plan, Ms Othman said the bureau met with the entire traders’ associations on March 1 to explain the essence of the planned concession.
She said the bureau on August 23, 2017, also placed a Caveat Emptor in some national newspapers in the country to give an update on the lease agreement that was executed by the federal government.
The advertorial in the newspapers, Ms Othman explained, was to alert the public to be aware that the lease, which was in favour of Aulic Nigeria Limited, had since been validly terminated and possession reverted to the federal government with effect from the date of that publication.
She said members of the public were 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 Federal Government of Nigeria represented by the BPE is unlawful, illegal, fraudulent and amounts to trespass.”
The government further warned that any person(s) interfering with the said parcels of land “stand to lose their money, as the FGN through the BPE, will 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 reimburse any monies paid in respect of such transaction.”
The bureau restated its willingness to collaborate with all interest groups in the sector to ensure smooth and successful completion of the transaction. It appealed for cooperation.