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Traders Oppose Planned Concession of Trade Fair Complex

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  • Traders Oppose Planned Concession of Trade Fair Complex

Trade groups operating around the Lagos International Trade Fair Complex have objected to fresh plans by the government to concession the complex to new operators.

The National Council on Privatisation had in September approved the revocation of the concession of the trade fair complex which was given to Aulic Nigeria Limited in 2008.

The trade groups spoke on Tuesday in Lagos under the platform of the Forum of International Trade Fair Complex comprising Auto Spare Parts and Machinery Dealers Association, Balogun Business Association/International Centre for Commerce, Association of Progressive Traders of Nigeria, Call Park Ventures Limited, C-Tempo International Limited, Mandillas International Trade Centre/Mandillas United Traders Association of Nigeria, Associiation of Nigeria Tyre Marketers, Lagos International Trade Fair Plaza Owners Association, Tools and Hardware Dealers Association.

They said they ought to be consulted since they already held the lease on 75 per cent of the complex for 50 years since 2004 and were paying their fees promptly every year.

The President, ASPMDA, Mr Daniel Offorkansi, while addressing journalists in ASPMDA, said the stakeholders leased the complex when it was a mere forest and had spent trillions of naira developing it.

He said the complex currently house many industries that employed over 75,000 people.

Offorkansi said even if the government wanted to concession the remaining 25 per cent undeveloped land, the stakeholders who were already operating there ought to have been given the choice of first refusal instead of giving it to a total stranger who had no idea about the operations of the complex.

He said, “We hereby state that the stakeholders who have invested so much in the complex up till present are being marginalised and short-changed. This apathy did not start today. The same thing played out in the days of the first concession. The stakeholders and indeed the entire members of the individual associations inexplicably suffered from the Federal Government’s policy summersault.

“We only heaved a sigh of relief when the current Executive Director of the Lagos International Trade Fair Management Board took over.

“The stakeholders cannot continue to keep quiet in the face of obvious threat to our investments and business goodwill. Having been exposed once to an unsavoury experience from a direct consequence of the concession, we demand a fair treatment at this material time and government should bear in mind the attendant impact of the concession on our business goodwill, both locally and globally.

“We are using this medium to state that about 75 per cent of the complex had already been leased out, fully developed and occupied by various interest groups now collectively referred to as the stakeholders, which lease agreements are still valid and subsisting.”

He added that the present occupants should be given first option of refusal with regards to the concessioning of the remaining 25 per cent of the complex.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote Ready to Sell Refinery to Nigerian Government

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Dangote refinery

Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest entrepreneur, has announced his willingness to sell his multibillion-dollar oil refinery to Nigeria’s state-owned energy company, NNPC Limited.

This decision comes amid a growing dispute with key partners and regulatory authorities.

The $19 billion refinery, which began operations last year, is a significant development for Nigeria, aiming to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel.

However, challenges in sourcing crude and ongoing disputes have hindered its full potential.

Dangote expressed frustration over allegations of monopolistic practices, stating that these accusations are unfounded.

“If they want to label me a monopolist, I am ready to let NNPC take over. It’s in the best interest of the country,” he said in a recent interview.

The refinery has faced difficulties with supply agreements, particularly with international crude producers demanding high premiums.

NNPC, initially a supportive partner, has delivered only a fraction of the crude needed since last year. This has forced Dangote to seek alternative suppliers from countries like Brazil and the US.

Despite the challenges, Dangote remains committed to contributing to Nigeria’s economy. “I’ve always believed in investing at home.

This refinery can resolve our fuel crisis,” he stated, urging other wealthy Nigerians to invest domestically rather than abroad.

Recently, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority accused Dangote’s refinery of producing substandard diesel.

In response, Dangote invited regulators and lawmakers to verify the quality of his products, which he claims surpass imported alternatives in purity.

Amidst these challenges, Dangote has halted plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry, citing concerns over monopoly accusations.

“We need to focus on what’s best for the economy,” he explained, emphasizing the importance of fair competition and innovation.

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the potential sale of Dangote’s refinery to NNPC could reshape the nation’s energy landscape and secure its energy independence.

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Dangote Shelves Steel Project to Prevent Monopoly Allegations

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, announced the company’s decision to halt plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry.

The decision comes just two months after the conglomerate had initially unveiled its intentions to invest in the sector as part of efforts to expand the economy.

Addressing journalists at his refinery in Lagos, Dangote explained that the board’s decision was driven by concerns over potential accusations of creating a monopoly.

“We have decided against pursuing the steel business to avoid being labeled a monopoly,” Dangote stated.

He explained that the company’s operations focus on adding value by transforming local raw materials into finished products.

The industrialist dismissed claims that his group enjoys monopolistic advantages, pointing out that their business practices have always fostered a competitive environment.

“When we entered the cement market, Lafarge was the only player, yet no one accused them of being a monopoly,” he stated.

Dangote further encouraged other Nigerian investors to explore opportunities in the steel industry, suggesting that there are ample resources and space for new entrants.

“There are many Nigerians with the financial capacity to invest. They should seize this opportunity to contribute to our nation’s growth,” he urged.

The billionaire’s call to action extended to Nigerians living abroad, inviting them to invest in their homeland.

“Bring your resources back from Dubai and other parts of the world and invest in Nigeria,” he said, reinforcing his commitment to seeing the country’s economy thrive through diverse contributions.

This decision marks a strategic shift for Dangote Industries, focusing on dispelling monopoly myths and promoting a collaborative business landscape.

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Goya Foods Takes Legal Action to Assert ‘Goya Olive Oil’ Trademark Ownership

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Goya Foods

“Goya Olive Oil” trademark in Nigeria, Goya Foods Incorporated has initiated legal proceedings against the Registrar of Trademarks under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The case, numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2023, was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Goya Foods, a prominent producer and distributor of foods and beverages across the United States, Spanish-speaking countries, and Nigeria, seeks to enforce a longstanding consent judgment issued by the court in December 2006.

The judgment directed the Registrar to rectify the Trademarks Register to reflect Goya Foods Incorporated as the rightful owner of the “Goya Olive Oil” trademark, without any further formalities.

The lawsuit, exclusively revealed to sources, underscores Goya Foods’ determination to safeguard its intellectual property against alleged infringements.

According to court documents, Goya Foods obtained the consent judgment against Chikason Industries Limited, which was accused of marketing “Goya Olive Oil” in Nigeria, thus infringing on Goya Foods’ registered trademark.

Legal counsel for Goya Foods, Ade Adedeji, SAN, emphasized the necessity of rectifying the Trademarks Register to protect their trademark interests effectively.

Despite appeals to the Registrar, the requested rectification has not been implemented, prompting Goya Foods to escalate the matter through legal channels.

The case has been adjourned to September 27, 2024, for further proceedings, highlighting the complexity and significance of trademark disputes in the global marketplace.

Goya Foods remains committed to upholding its brand integrity and securing its proprietary interests amidst the evolving landscape of international trademark law.

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