UPDATED: Lagos govt to take 24% equity in TBS, Trade Fair Complex

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Emma Ujah

The Lagos State government has offered to take up 24 per cent of the Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) and Lagos International Trade Fair Complex (LITFC).

The Governor of the state, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced this at the virtual Investors’ Forum this afternoon.

Under the arrangement, the Lagos State government would contribute 24 per cent of required investment in exchange for the same amount of shares in concession Special Purpose Vehicle (SPVs) in partnership with the concessionaires.

The Director-General (D-G) of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) Mr. Alex Okoh, disclosed that the concession would be for a period of 30 years, renewable by the federal government for another 30 year period.

According to him, the federal government decided to showcase the two enterprises because the earlier concession arrangements did not meet expected outcomes.

Mr. Okoh’s words, “The purpose of this Investors’ Forum is to showcase two government enterprises which require private sector investment, as well as, innovative management capacity to unlock their full potentials which hitherto had been sub-optimally utilized.

Both of these enterprises had previously been concessioned but the government had to act decisively to terminate the concessions in view of the fact that the former concessionaire acted contrary to the expectations guiding the development of those iconic and legacy facilities in Nigeria.

“The fact that these two enterprises are being showcased again today for private sector investment speaks to government implicit confidence in the ability of the private sector to regenerate and reinvigorate these national assets and make them, not just viable, but to again stand as monuments of national pride.”

The BPE boss said that the expectation of the federal government in undertaking the concession of the Lagos Trade Fair Complex was to catalise business in the West African sub-region through strategic trade exhibitions that project the vast potentials of the industrial axis of Lagos and Ogun States.

According to him, “similarly, it is government’s expectation that the TBS must move beyond the disjointed cluster of business premises to world-class integrated events and business facility comparable to its counterparts globally.

Mr. Okoh disclosed that the challenges that militated against the earlier concession transactions had been largely addressed, adding, “the commitment of all stakeholders, including Lagos States government, to the success of these transactions more than anything, give us comfort that these enterprises are bankable and should be a tremendous attraction to both local and foreign investors.”

The D-G said that the investors to be given the facilities must be those with very strong financial strength with deep experience in estate development and operations.

He added that the government expected an “integrated super concessionaire who can take on various aspects of the concession area.  We don’t envisage fragmented development”

In his presentation on the TBS, the Transaction Adviser, Mr. Arif Mohiuddin, said that the facility which was established in 1972 occupied a land area of about 14 hectares, of which the concession area would be about 11 hectares.

He said that the concession process expected to commence in April with Expressions of Interests (EoIs) would be concluded with the handing over of the facility to the investors before the end of the year.

On the LTFC, Mr. Mohiuddin said that the facilities occupied 300 hectares out of which the federal government was looking to give out 117 hectares in the concession arrangement.

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