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Revenue drive: FG moves to recover multi-billion naira concessioned assets

  In a bid to shore up revenue, the federal government has moved to recover concessioned assets to private businesses that are believed to be…

 

In a bid to shore up revenue, the federal government has moved to recover concessioned assets to private businesses that are believed to be underperforming or under-remitting the agreed revenue to the government coffers.

The assets, which are believed to be generating billions of naira in revenue for the concessioners, have come under close scrutiny with concerns that some of the asset managers have allegedly obtained Certificates of Occupancy (C of O) to hold onto the assets longer than agreed.

One notable asset in question is the Foreshore Towers on Osborne Road, Ikoyi.

In a document sighted by Daily Trust, the government believes that these businesses have been selling off parcels of government land without authorisation and using the proceeds from the concessioned assets to engage in legal battles against the government.

Recall that amid Nigeria’s fiscal crisis, the federal government recently disclosed that it is compiling the list of assets that will be either sold or ‘concessioned’ to fund the 2023 budget deficit of N10.7tn.

Daily Trust learnt that more than 25 assets will be turned into active assets that will be generating money in some ways to the federal government.

Documents cited by Daily Trust indicate that the Foreshore Towers has been a subject of controversy for more than 15 years leading to the revocation of the C of O by the federal government in 2022.

The federal government under the then Ministry of Communications in 1983 entered into a lease agreement with Associated Property Development Company Limited for the purpose of developing a housing complex, for a period of 25 years.

The Oluwole Rotimi Commission of Inquiry in 2001 criticised both federal government agencies and the property manager for their handling of the lease agreement. The maximum term of 18 years set by the Council of Ministers was exceeded without proper approval.

However, in a white paper on the Oluwole Rotimi Commission of Inquiry in 2001, it was observed that the lease agreement entered into in 1983 in respect of the property is still subsisting despite disapproval by the Council of Ministers.

It further observed that there is no evidence of a new lease.

The commission found it rather curious that the maximum term of 18 years imposed by the Council of Ministers was not only exceeded by first the Ministry of Communications which increased it to 25 years but more ridiculously by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing which brought it to 50 years.

The white paper directed the FMW&H to withdraw all allocations made on the land and issue appropriate title to NITEl to enable it to repose the land.

Since 2001, previous administrations have not made any success in recovering this particular asset.

However, In May, 2023, the FMW7H published the notice of revocation of the C of O in respect of the property

Daily Trust however learnt that Associated Properties had secured a court order instructing the Inspector General of Police and his subordinate to vacate the premises and revert possession to the plaintiff, further complicating the situation.

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