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House of Representatives Joint Committee on Public Petition and Commerce Thursday toured the Lagos International trade Fair Complex along Lagos-Badagry Expressway and openly expressed shocks on the quantum private sector investment contrary to trending claims that the complex is underdeveloped.
The tour was part of their oversight function and fact finding mission in the resolution of a petition written by trading stakeholders on government’s plan to re-concession the complex.
Recall that the traders, under the aegis of Trade Fair Stakeholders Forum (TFSF), made up Auto Spare Parts & Machinery Dealers’ Association (ASPMDA), Balogun Business Association (BBA), Association of Progressive Traders (APT), C Tempo, Call park and others who had during the 1990s, secured different long lease agreements from the Federal Government to develop the hitherto bushy and abandoned complex into a world class business hub it is today.
The traders petitioned the rationale in forcefully taking over N70bn investments from struggling and enterprising Nigerians into the hands of one or few people when their respective lease agreements with government running into more than 50 years are yet to hit 20 years.
Addressing the traders after the tour, lead chairman of the Joint House Committee, Hon. Uzoma-Nkem Abonta, assured that with the weight of sights and sounds, facts and figures gotten from today’s visit, our recommendations will guide the National Assembly in taking a final decision on the re-concession issue.
He noted that with the level of private sector investment within the massive complex, all efforts must be made by the current House of Representatives to end and seal the crisis before the end of the eighth National Assembly.
In his remarks, the House Committee chairman on Commerce, Hon Sylvester Ogbaga assured that the mandate of the Joint Committee is to roundup this assignment and advise the House of Representatives accordingly for the final and permanent resolution of the concession crisis before the end of life of the eighth National Assembly.
In his goodwill message, the chairman of TFSF and ASMPDA President, Chief Daniel Offorkansi, thanked the Committee members for listening to their cries and coming for the fact finding mission ahead of the final resolution of the crisis.
Earlier in an interview, the House Member representing Amuwo Federal Constituency, Hon Oghene Egoh, recalled that the TFSF had petitioned National Assembly when it observed that the Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) was planning to re-concession the complex without recourse to their substantive lease agreements with the same government which run into 45 to 50 years since 1996.
Egoh, who recently won his re-election bid assured that all efforts shall be made to resolve the matter by the current National Assembly so that traders can consolidate on their value creation to the economy.
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