Trade Fair Complex Lagos: Concession or No Concession?.
C.V.Akuta Media shared this youtube link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zi-ctqwq4oU), where some Igbo traders at Trade Fair Complex Lagos were protesting the attempt by the federal government to concession the complex, where they had invested billions of naira to erect one of the biggest markets in Africa. The Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) indeed confirmed the story. This complex was originally concessioned to Aulic Nigeria Limited in 2008, and by August 2017, the National Council on Privatization revoked the concession of the Trade Fair Complex. Since then this has become a source of conflict and tension between the various parties involved.
While we don’t have the details/reasons for this revocation, but in the event of the proposed concession going ahead, the Bureau for Public Enterprise (BPE) should give the traders at this complex the choice of first refusal? This is because these traders have built multi billion naira market there, created jobs in the process and pay taxes to the government. The ideal thing the federal government should do is to encourage them since they are adding value to the economy. No better way to support them than through this means.
Since the trade fair complex is a federal government property, its concession should also be done in a competitive and transparent way. To this end, it would be in the best of the traders to bid for this complex too. Let them pull their resources together, assemble experts and bid for this complex. But again, another government might come to power and decide to revoke the concession or mutual agreements with the traders. In Nigeria you cannot even be sure of the government. Instability and policy inconsistencies are not good for business.