Business Hilights
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BPE targets N300b from concession of LITFC, others to fund last lap of 2018 Budget

…Set to announce bid winner for complex next month
The Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Dr Alex Okoh, yesterday in Lagos gave update on the activities of the agency, saying the agency is about to raise over N300 billion from privatisation and commercialisation of moribund enterprises.
He said the funds so generated will be used to facilitate last lap of 2018 budget.
Explaining more at the Stakeholders Media Interactive Forum organised by the Enterprise and the Stakeholders Engagement Committee of the National Council on Privatisation (SEC-NCP), he averred that the agency is already making headway in the re-concessioning and sale of some national assets including the Afam Power Plant in Rivers State, Geregu, Calabar and Omotosho National Independent Power Projects, re-privatisation of the Yola Distribution Company, River Basin Development Authorities and the National Parks.
Giving emphasis specifically on the concession of Warri Old Port, the reconcession of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC), the sale of Afam Power Plant and three National Independent Power Projects, he said before the end of November, new owners of the facilities will emerge.
He recalled that BPE had recently concluded the sale of the Federal Government’s 21 per cent interest in the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) which is expected to contribute over N17 billion to the national treasury.
Though he did not give details of prospective bidders of LITFC, he made it clear that the incoming concessionaire will have all it takes to change the ugly narrative of the complex.
It would be recalled that BPE had in August appointed a concession adviser to guide it in the process of conducting a hitch-free bidding rounds which has since received bids from companies and establishments including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI).
An insider confided in Business Hilights that because the prospective new concessionaire of the LITFC is likely to face series of court actions and resistance protests from the current occupiers of the complex, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah had earlier in the month announced the readiness of the government to provide strong indemnity cover that will quell and effectively contain any form of disturbance from the traders.
It was further gathered that the incoming concessionaire may disband all existing trade unions and market associations with the aim of setting up its structure that will establish one central administrative unit that will oversee the activities of all the complex occupiers.
Besides, the new concessionaire will audit the approvals of all standing structures in the complex to establish not only their structural integrity, but to make sure all of them conformed with the provisions of the Act establishing the complex which did not allow for any other building standing more than one-storey other than the administrative House in front of the complex.
Otherwise, serious demolition may follow in the process of returning the complex to its lost glory.
Part of the drive to return the complex to its lost glory, Business Hilights leant, include renovation of several dilapidated foundation infrastructures and demolishing structures built by existing investors that defaced both the front view and open exhibition areas.
Investigations further revealed that areas developed by pioneer investors in the complex including ASPMDA, BBA and APT may be mostly affected as their structures touched largely on the exhibition areas which are mainly structures nearing all the mega exhibition halls, according to the provisions of the Act establishing the complex.
Though a credible source hinted that current but old tenants in the complex may succeed in getting special considerations (if ever) from the federal government depending on the integrity of their authorizing documents, time and approach methodology they may use especially before a concessionaire is announced by BPE.
However, checks and heartbeats within the complex are yet to suggest any serious move by the concerned stakeholders even as industry experts say only a high-powered political solution rather than litigation can save the horrible situation for them.
Part of the political solutions may include but not limited to public awareness on how they have turned around the complex which had been moribund before their arrivals from 1996 to date.
They may also rely on approaches to leading politically exposed persons (PEPs) who may possess the integrity needed to plead their case.
On why litigation may not work for them, analysts recalled that for the supervising ministry to come out few weeks ago and pledged full scale indemnity for would-be concessionaire means a lot after all.

Besides, it would be recalled that the removed concessionaire, Aulic Nigeria Limited, with all the substantive Court orders in his favour and standing agreements, he was still ousted by forces of the government after all.
It was also gathered that the current Executive Director of Trade Fair Management Board (TFMB), Mrs. Lucy Ajayi, who had given out a sizable portion of the complex to new investors in the last one year of her appointment, is yet to address the trading associations of the ongoing reconcession drive of the government.
Checks amongst the trading associations showed that they are yet to comprehend the weight and enormity of what is to happen as many of them when contacted claimed unaware of the plans of the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) through the BPE.