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Trade Fair: Concession revocation not for operators –Okoro

By Simeon Mpamugoh

The Principal and Chief Executive Officer, M.I. Okoro and Associates, Meckson Okoro, has said that it was important to clarify the issue of the Trade Fair revocation of concession so that people would not continue to criticise the Federal Government.

Okoro, who was part of the actualisation of the Auto Spare Parts And Machinery Dealers Association (ASPMDA) plaza in 2003 maintained that “it was because the revocation was not meant for operators that we have not heard of any revolt.”

He said, “I was from day one part of the processes that led to the movement of the market from Idumota to Trade Fair Complex. Even the company, Aulic Nigeria Limited, was part of ASPMDA.

“What happened was that there were about 20 market associations within the market, including ASPMDA, All Progressive Traders (APT) and Balogun Business Association (BBA). Each has a breaking lease of 45 and 50 years and they deal directly with the Trade Fair Management Board (TMB), which is an agency of the Federal Government that manages the complex.

“What the Obasanjo administration did was to enter into an alliance with Aulic, which used to be a member of ASPMDA because the owner of Aulic knows Obasanjo. He delegated the management of the complex to him thus taking away the management of the whole business areas of the complex from TMB.

“What it meant was that every trading association that was supposed to be paying dues to the board was paying to Aulic as a concessionaire, perhaps because he was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). They expunged the traditional role of the board and gave it to the company.

“Since Obasanjo and PDP were no longer in power, the management of TMB decided to recover their traditional role from Aulic. So, it has nothing to do with revoking interests of traders in the complex,” he explained.

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