A House of Representatives Ad hoc Committee has invited stakeholders in the concession of the Lagos International Trade Complex (LITC) to discuss unrecovered N6.5 billion.
During a public hearing on Tuesday in Abuja, the committee investigating the lease of Federal Government-owned assets unanimously approved a motion by Rep. Sani Bala (APC-Kano state) to adopt the resolution.
The parties involved include, among others, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), the Lagos International Trade Complex, Aulic Nigeria Ltd, and the Plaza Owners Association.
Mr. Francis Dajilak, director of administration and human resources at LITC, informed the committee that the complex was granted to Aulic Nigeria Ltd in 2007.
Before the concession, there were five major stakeholders in the complex, including the Department of Security Service (DSS), according to him.
After the concession, Dajilak explained, there were disagreements between the existing stakeholders and the Aulic, which delayed the implementation until 2008.
Between 2008 and 2017, when the contract was terminated, Olic did not remit funds to the Federal Government as stipulated in the contract, according to the director.
In his estimation, Aulic Nigeria Ltd owed N6.5 billion between 2008 and 2017 when the contract was terminated.
The director stated that all efforts to recover the funds following the contract’s termination were unsuccessful.
According to Dajilak, the entire complex was in shambles upon recovery, and the EFCC was tasked with recovering the funds.
He told the committee that the EFCC arrested the owners of Aulic, but released them after a few weeks with no money paid into government coffers.
According to Dajilak, the LITC contacted BPP in an attempt to recover the funds, but without success.
Mr. Godson Okoye, Counsel to Plaza Owners Association operating in the complex, told the committee that the complex could generate N12 billion per year if it were well managed.
He requested that the committee grant the association a few days to submit their written position to the committee.
Okoye stated that the complex was experiencing many problems and that many of their members had lost a great deal of money.
The attorney stated that some of the complex’s major businessmen had relocated to neighboring countries due to poor management.
Rep. Dan Asuqu (PDP-Cross River), chairman of the committee, stated in his ruling that the committee was interested in recovering the funds.
He stated that the committee was also concerned with safeguarding the financial interests of Nigerians who had invested in the complex.
According to him, we will do everything within our authority and the Constitution, even if it means stepping on heads or toes.
The chairman stated that the committee is also interested in generating funds for the government, and that everything will be done to ensure that the government earns more than N12 billion per year from the complex.