Stakeholders urge Buhari to revoke LITFC concession agreement order
Say over 300, 000 jobs lost through concession
WORRIED that over 300, 000 jobs were lost as a result of the concession of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC) to Aulic Nigeria Limited, stakeholders have urged President Muhammadu Buhari to revoke the agreement entered between the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC) and the concessionaire.
They made the call at the end of a two-day Stakeholders Forum aimed at repositioning the trade fair complex for transparency in business administration.
The event was jointly organized by the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex Management Board, Federal Ministry of Industry and Investment and CHOSOVAN-M (Nigeria) Enterprises, in FESTAC Town, Lagos.
According to them the concession was done in bad faith as all efforts to correct anomalies identified in the agreement was rejected by Aulic Nigeria Limited.
A representative of the traders, Mr. Bede Elo, who relayed the position of the stakeholders during apaper presentation entitled: “Doing Business: How To Improve Business In Lagos Trade Fair Complex,” blamed policy inconsistency on the concession of the trade fair complex, stressing that the handing over to people who did not have business acumen to manage the place has destroyed government investment in the complex.
According to him, the concession of the trade fair complex has not only killed the once thriving small-scale businesses but has also resulted to more than 300,000 workers losing their jobs due to the activity of the concessionaire.
He, therefore, called on President Buhari to restore the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex Management Board (LITFCMB) to facilitate smooth governmental administration of business activities in the complex as well as making the agency to be transparent and accountable.
“The wind of change that is blowing in the nation must visit the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex. We stakeholders in the complex are using this opportunity to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to revoke fraudulent concession of the trade fair to Aulic Nigeria Limited.”
“We want to use this opportunity to call on President Buhari to correct this anomaly because the investment of the Lagos International Trade Fair complex is from the commonwealth of Nigerians.”
“The Lagos International Trade Fair Board and all its workers must come back to Lagos where their presence and service is needed. They must return to oversee day-to-day running of the business activities going on in the trade fair complex,” he added.
He also lamented the activities of security agents at the LITFC who he said had mounted several tolls within the complex, thereby attracting double taxation.
“The neglect of the complex by government has led to total collapse of normal business activities in the place. We have it on authority that over 300,000 workers are out of job in the complex.”
He also called government to carry out audit verification of the assets of the complex, stressing that attempts to audit the complex was declined twice through frivolous court injunctions barring Federal government to carry out its statutory function.
While alleging that the concessionaire has not remitted over N10billion in rents to the government, he narrated how the ecosystem around the complex have been encroached on by the concessionaire, stressing that they had erected illegal stalls, excavation and sale of sand without approval from the Federal Government.
“All what we are demanding from the current administration is the personal intervention of President Buhari to safe the edifice from further destruction by revoking the concession and allowing the former staff to continue administering the complex,” he said.