The Federal Government has indicated its readiness to provide indemnity to ensure that the re-concessioning of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC) is successful.

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah, disclosed this while speaking at the kick-off meeting for advisory services for the concession of the LITFC in Abuja.

The minister said that under the latest arrangement the concession must be done right as “the Federal Government is prepared to provide indemnity to cover all the legal issues and other encumbrances on the LITFC”.

He commended the leadership of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on the LITFC re-concessioning, noting that “it is important to always do the right thing, as it is being done now on the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex by the professionals at BPE. “For the love of country and for professionalism, we support this development.”

Earlier in his remarks, the BPE Director General, Mr Alex Okoh, pointed out that government was eager to promote private sector participation in the operation, management and maintenance of the Trade Fair Complex.

In addition, he explained that government was also keen on ensuring that the complex is managed on a commercial basis and fulfils the underlying objectives of hosting annual international trade fairs, expos and exhibitions.

He clarified: “This facility is a prime trade fair and convention complex with the potential to be one of the very best in Africa. It is located along Lagos-Badagry Expressway, a major gateway into Nigeria from the West African coast and has abundant land for further development.”

Okoh said that the objective of the advisory consultancy was to advise and assist the Bureau in identifying and engaging a credible private sector concessionaire for the LITFC, adding that the prospective concessionaires must be experienced local or international operators.

According to him, the prospective concessionaires should have the technical and financial capacity to manage and operate the complex for a minimum of 30 years; and invest in the rehabilitation of existing facilities and further development of the complex.

Okoh disclosed that the scope of work to be undertaken by the transaction advisers-Feedback Infrastructure Services Consortium, who are expected to complete their work within 56 days, will include the provision of an inception report; due diligence review on Lagos International Trade Fair Complex; valuation report; and Concession Agreement, amongst others.

It would be recalled that the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) at its meeting on August 22 and 23, 2017, revoked the agreement which the Federal Government through the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) signed with Aulic Nigeria Limited in 2008 for the concessioning of LITFC to Aulic.