The popular and ever busy Trade Fair in Lagos has been shut. Currently, traders who were unaware of the development arrived their shops at the Trade Fair for their normal businesses only to discover to their surprise that all the gates, leading to the Fair have been barricaded.
Traders at the fair are still in shock and confused over the development as they said they were not aware of any issue that may have led to the shutting down of the premises nor were they pre-informed before the Trade Fair was shut.
Meanwhile, an official of the complex who preferred not to be mentioned told Vanguard that the complex was shut by the presidents of the various market groups within the Trade Fair to protest what an alleged hijack of the complex by a popular politician in Lagos.
According to him, the popular politician in connivance with other powers that be, want to take over the Trade Fair complex, a move the marketers have continued to resist.
Recall that the complex had been a subject of conflict over planned concession by the Federal Government.
The Lagos Trade Fair complex was concessioned to Aulic Nigeria Limited in 2008. However, the National Council on Privatisation had, in September 2018, approved the revocation of the concession of the trade fair complex.
But the trade groups at the complex, under the platform of Forum of International Trade Fair Complex comprising Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association, ASPMDA, Association of Progressive Traders of Nigeria, Call Park Ventures Limited, C-Tempo International Limited, Balogun Business Association/International Centre for Commerce, Mandillas International Trade Centre/Mandillas United Traders Association of Nigeria, Associiation of Nigeria Tyre Marketers, Lagos International Trade Fair Plaza Owners Association and Tools and Hardware Dealers Association, launched series of protests to object the move.
The traders’ groups had noted that they were not consulted over the planned revocation of the concession, despite the fact that they hold 75 per cent lease of the complex for 50 years, beginning from 2004 and had been paying their fees yearly as agreed.
Meanwhile, today’s closure for some hours of the complex was done by the presidents of the various market groups to protest an alleged fresh plans to allegedly take over the complex by a notable politician.