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FG plans new 30-year concession, redevelopment of Tafawa Balewa Square

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A fresh 30-year concession for the redevelopment of Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) located in Marina area of Lagos Island, is in the offing.

Sources told The Guardian that the facility is being offered to investors for a second time after previous investors breached the terms of a contract awarded in 2008, prompting the government to terminate the concession agreement.
  
The first attempt to concession the complex was made with the concessionaire expected to spend not less than N300 billion between 2019 and 2029 for its renovation.
 
With the latest effort, investigations revealed that the Federal Government is not putting a price on the assets as it expects bidders to send quotations based on their assessments of the investment potential of the monument.

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Already, the government, through the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment and Tafawa Balewa Square Management Board has opened bidding process for prospective investors in the concession of the TBS.
   
Under the new deal, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) reserved 24 per cent equity interest in any winning bid for the Lagos State Government.

“The objectives of the concession are to substantially repurpose and redevelop the complex to profitably operate and manage it through professional and efficient management practice as a world-class events and hospitality centre for a minimum of thirty years,” according to BPE Head, Public Communication, Amina Tukur Othman.
 
The present structures were primarily developed in 1972, covering a total area of over 14 hectares. The concession area The Guardian learnt would cover about 11 hectares.
 
Facilities on ground include rectangular parade ground of mass concrete with a ground land area of 3.96 hectares, eastern pavilion consisting shops, kiosks and offices, western pavilion consisting shops, kiosks and offices, multipurpose hall with a 600 to 800 capacity and a total floor area of about 1, 290 square metres.
  
Others are administrative blocks of two-storey buildings with offices on two floors, a pavilion and club arcade including offices, multi-purpose hall, club arcade bar and lounge.

When fully redeveloped the structure would showcase parade ground with flexible formula1Karting facilities, renovated pavilions to turn the kiosks and offices behind into modern shops and offices.     
  
Additionally, there would be an upscale shopping mall fully equipped with attractions such as ice-skating rink, movie theatre, bawling, casino, indoor kids’ theme park, various outdoor gaming activities and indoor event centre.
  
The facility would also boast of 21st century office buildings, hotels, multi-storey parking lots and flexible ability to hold various large events on the parade ground.
 
There were indications that the government is offering the assets as part of its effort to raise N205.2 billion funding support for the budget.
 
Government had privatised or concessioned public assets, including electricity, transport and fertilizer utilities as part of efforts to increase their efficiency and boost revenue.

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The TBS, a landmark heritage of Nigeria, hosts some of the renowned national and international events yearly, including the Independence Day celebration, the Lagos carnival, and the Eyo festival and musical jamborees.
 
The complex has hosted The Experience, regarded as one of the biggest religious musical events in Africa yearly. The facility derives its strength from its strategic location in the heart of the business environment with its nearness to highbrow centres in Lagos.
 
Others are international trade fairs, inaugural ceremonies of Lagos Governors and coronations of Oba of Lagos as well as other religious events.
 
Sources said the legal basis for the concession/process is hinged on public enterprises privatisation and commercialisation act of 1999 and the second schedule Part II – Section 6 (2) 1.
  
Expectedly, bidders interested in the redevelopment are to show ability for strong financial strength, significant experience in real estate project development, operations and capacity to redevelop the facility to a world-class event and entertainment center. The Federal Government would be obligated to renew the concession provided the concessionaire meets the terms.
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