FG to review Lagos trade fair complex concession

The Federal Government has said it has concluded plans to review the concession of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex.

President Goodluck Jonathan said this in Lagos on Friday at the opening ceremony of the Lagos International Trade Fair, which was organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The president, who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Olusegun Aganga, said the review was crucial to the national industrial and trade promotion policies of the Federal Government.

“The Vice-President at a meeting with the National Council of Privatisation has directed that legal proceedings should commence to recover the concession of the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex,” he said.

The trade fair complex was in 2008 concessioned to Aulic Nigeria Limited, a move which had come under severe criticism by several trade groups.

The president explained that the decision to review the controversial concession was because government recognised the role of the LCCI in its industrial revolution plan.

He said, “Our industrial policy is to promote higher levels of trade, by increasing internal trade, trade with the Economic Community of West African States and the rest of the world. Lagos International Trade Fair is key to the Federal Government in achieving this national industrial and trade revolution.”

Also speaking on government’s plan to stop the importation of used cars, the president said there were plans to put policies in place to produce affordable cars and car parts in the country, while there would be a tariff change with a differential of 70 per cent to attract investment.

He added that there were plans to get popular tyre manufacturing companies, Michelin and Dunlop, to return to Nigeria.

He said, “Michelin and Dunlop died many years ago because of poor government policies, but now, we are bringing them back. The problem at the time was that some tyres were brought in at 10 per cent and some at 40 per cent tariff.

“Now, anybody who wishes to go into tyre production like Michelin, Dunlop and the others, would bring it in at five per cent based on the level of commitment to produce locally and they will be on tax break for five to ten years.”

The President, LCCI, Mr. Goodie Ibru, said it was imperative for government to fix the impediment to the competitiveness of the country’s private sector in order to improve business confidence. Ibru also called for tax concessions and incentives for domestic industries so that they could benefit from the economic integration of the new Common External Tarrif by the council of ECOWAS heads of states and government.

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