In order to reposition the Ikorodu Plaza and turn it into a money spinning venture, Ikorodu Local Government, on Friday, October 16, 2020, inaugurated a new management committee to oversee the affairs of the complex.
Members of the new management team, which has Prince Jamiu Saka, an Insurance guru and Barrister at law, as its chairman and Mr Adebayo Kazzem Babatunde as Secretary, were constituted by Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, the Chairman of Ikorodu Local Government, and sworn-in by Barrister Adebola Ajenifuja at the Council’s Secretariat hall.
Other members of the committee, which cuts across the six local council areas in Ikorodu division, are Alhaji Junaid Owokodu, Mrs O.T. Benson, Mr Odusoga, Hon. Gbenga Oshin, Mr Adewusi Sulaimon, Mr Shakirudeen Babatunde Ajala, as well as the representatives of the Occupants of the Plaza and First Bank Plc.
The committee, which will serve for two years, would be taking over the management of the Plaza from Taiwo Kara & Associates, the immediate past managers whose ten year contract lapsed many years back.
The construction of the Plaza, which is a commonwealth of the Ikorodu Local government and five other Local Council Development Area (LCDAs), started during the administration of Late Engr. Dele Kuti as Chairman of the Old Ikorodu Local Government, was completed during the tenure of Alhaji Junaid Owokodu with the intervention of the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN.
However, since its completion and commissioning, the complex has not yielded the expected income for the councils as it has suffered different crises such as conflicts between facility managers and shop owners, abandonment, failure of shop owners to operate their shops due to lack of patronage among others.
Not even the presence of the First Bank Plc and its Automated Teller Machine (ATM) gallery could turn around the fortune of the Plaza as it is still largely under – utilized till date despite its location in highbrow area.
Meanwhile, Ikorodu Local Government Chairman, Hon. Wasiu Adeshina, speaking at the inauguration ceremony, said that the Plaza, which has been in existence for many years, needs proper management to make it generate revenue for the council.
He charged shop owners to see the complex as theirs and make it a point of duty to see that it is run effectively.
“I warmly welcome all our guests to this auspicious gathering of inauguration ceremony of the committee members on Ita-Elewa shopping complex.
“This Shopping Complex has been in existence for some years and it needs to be effectively managed.
“The good people of Ikorodu, the Shopping Complex is our property, the management of the Shopping Complex should be our utmost priority and we should make sure that it yields something sustainable for Ikorodu Local Government.
“It is our collective responsibility to make it a worthwhile venture so that it will stand the test of time”, he charged.
“The committee that will administer the affair of the Shopping Complex has been carefully selected among the Local Government and the five (5) Local Council Development Areas. The Committee is to ensure optimal use of the facility by bringing more people into the complex”.
Stating the term of references which must be strictly adhered to by the new management team, Hon. Adeshina stated that:
“The Committee is expected to see to the smooth running of the plaza; the committee shall hold their board meeting twice a quarter at a venue created in the complex or at any other mutually agreed and convenient venue.
“50% of the members of the committee, including the Chairman of the Committee, shall form a quorum during any meeting; the tenure of the Chairman of the Committee shall be for a period of two (2) years but renewable.
“The salaries/allowances of the committee members shall be decided upon by the Chairman of the Local Government and the other five (5) Local Council Development Areas; a bank account will be opened and operated by the Committee.
“The signatories to the account shall be decided by the chairmen of the Local Government and the other five (5) Local Council Development Areas; the Committee is expected to recoup and recover all outstanding debts by the tenants of the plaza.
“A separate account shall be opened for the deposit of all the funds/rents made by the tenants; the committee is expected to compile a quarterly report of all happenings in the complex and forward same to all the Council Chairmen for proper monitoring”.
Chief Monzor Kolawole Olowosago, the Publisher of Oriwu Sun Newspaper and one of the shop owners at the Ikorodu Plaza, while speaking at the event, stated that the former management team of the Plaza was embroiled in crises with shop owners because they were asked to pay between N70, 000 and N80, 000 annually despite the fact that they bought the shops outrightly from the council.
The publisher, who stated that many of the shop owners at the plaza were not given any legal document by the council regarding the ownership of their respective shops, added that the new management team should focus on how to make the Plaza generate more income for the councils and ensure more occupants come into the plaza and allow the shop owners to manage their affairs and should only come to them when they have issues that need the committee’s attention.
To this end, he suggested that shop owners should be allowed to get prepaid meters individually and also make arrangement among themselves on how to pay for the cleaning and maintenance of the facility and how defaulters should be dealt with.
He also revealed that some of the shops in the complex were allocated to traditional rulers, government functionaries and others when it was completed.
The Chairman of the new management committee, Alhaji Jamiu Saka, in his acceptance speech on behalf of other members of the committee, commended
The council and leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Ikorodu for the opportunity given to him and members of the committee, and stated that their first task is to determine the controversies surrounding the tenancy of the complex.
“The issue that we are going to consider first and foremost is the status of the lease holders and tenancy. The status is very important because it is on it that all other issues fall”, he said.
He stated that members of the new committee are experienced administrators and authorities in diverse fields and that they are determined to succeed in repositioning the plaza and making it an income generating property.
“I am happy that on the board, we have authorities on Local Government administration, board administrators, former Permanent Secretary, former member of House of Assembly and many more. So, one cannot but expect good performance”.
While further reacting to questions and observations by reporters, Prince Saka also stated that:
“In response to some of the comments, I can only say that God should give us the capacity to carry out our duties. There have been quite a number of interpretations as to what the complex represents.
“There is nothing in Nigeria as I know it today that (an individual) has total control over any property. All lands belong to the government and all lands vested on the Local Government belong to the Local Government”, he said.
“Once the occupancy positions are known, there would not be any conflict.
“We have also taken note of what the chairman has said in terms of revenue generation so as to be able to sustain the complex”.
He stated that there is no way that the new board will not interact with Arc. Taiwo Kara led management that oversaw the management of the Ikorodu Complex at Ita – Elewa.
“If you build a solid foundation, history will help you get where you are going. The documentation and management of the premises are held in trust by previous administrators of the complex and everybody would have to account positively to enable us to forge ahead”, he said.
“We appreciate all the efforts of past managers of the place and there is no way we will do anything without facility managers. We will find effective means of dealing with the situations without any confrontation”.
Hon. Adebisi Banjo, the Chairman, Ikorodu North LCDA, and Alhaji Musiliu Animashaun (De Cubano), a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in their separate brief remarks, stated that the new management team is made up of seasoned administrators and professionals and expressed confidence in their abilities and capabilities to deliver on the mandate given to them.
Others at the event were former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, Chieftain of the APC, Alhaji Lamidi Folorunsho, Secretary of the APC Apex body in Ikorodu, Alhaji Badry Enifeni, former Executive Secretary of Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Mr Taiwo Orenuga, Alhaji Sulaimon Ola4, Alhaja Taofeekat Allinson, Iyaloja Ikorodu division, Alhaji Lukman Shonibare, Chairman, Community Development Committee, Ikorodu division, Sheikh Seifudeen Olowooribi, Chief lmam, Ikorodu division and Alhaji Badru Enifeni