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The Lagos International trade fair Complex, situated along the Lagos-Badagry Expressway is on fire.
In a telephone call made to the Chief Security Officer of Auto Spare Parts & Machinery Dealers’ Association (ASPMDA), Mr. J. Maduka around 3.55AM, he confirmed the inferno, saying the ongoing fire was said to have started from the Association of Progressive Traders of Nigeria (APToN) which is seating at the centre of all the trading plazas in the massive complex.
The section deals on high valued jewelries including gold, GL, beads and other wearables and building materials.
According to him, “The fire started around the early hours of 3.20AM from the cargo loading section and there are feelers that spark may have come up from loaded explosives (knockouts)”.
Maduka said the Federal Fire Service have been informed, but ASPMDA Fire department is already on ground trying their best in quenching the fire and making sure it did not spread beyond control as they wait for government fire services.
As at the time of the conversation, the ASPMDA security chief averred that contacts have been made to all security operatives even as more explosions are heard from a distance and looking from a distance, the scenario is laced with massive explosions rocking indiscriminately like a war situation.
Efforts to reach any official of ATPoN at press time failed, as the inferno rages.
Business Hilights recalls that Lagos Trade fair complex remains the largest trading complex in sub-Saharan Africa with worth surpassing over N5tn.
APToN is at the centre of other key trading plazas including ASPMDA, Balogun Business Association (BBA), Africa Tyre Village, Mandillas Trading group, Tools and Hardwares Trading Group and other emerging trading groups.
It would also be recalled that fire incident has never taken place at the complex since inception in 1996 when majority of the trading plazas moved from Lagos Island due to observed security challenges.
The traders had secured several lease deals from the Federal Ministry of Trade and Commerce to redevelop the massive complex, but 10 years ago, remaining undeveloped section was concessioned to Aulic Nigeria Limited.
However, not up to one month ago, the federal government announced the cancellation of the concession deal, leading the forceful ejection of Aulic group.
Currently, the complex is effectively under the control of the Lagos Trade Fair Management Board, a department in the Federal Ministry of Trade Investments and Industry.
Mrs. Lucy Ajayi is now the controller.
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