THE LAPAL PROPERTIES COMPANY LTD
The Lapal Property Company Limited originated in 1959, when a scheme was devised for the development of SCOA in Nigeria, with the sale and lease-back formula which was so successfully used to finance the rebuilding of London, after World War ll.
The Western Cocoa Marketing Board was seeking Investment opportunities within Nigeria, through an associate, the National Investment and Properties Company Limited (NIPC). A vital part of the strategy was that SCOA should form a company to take over all the Western Cocoa Marketing Board freehold and leasehold property interests. Lapal, the name of the new company is a mnemonic, compiled from Lagos, Paris and London, where negotiations first began, the final agreement was signed and the finance arranged.
NIPC was then able to provide SCOA with the necessary finance, by purchasing all the shares in the Lapal Property Company except two. The properties involved were sold by SCOA to Lapal and then leased back again.
Lapal’s first major development was the SCOA assembly plant and space parts warehouse at Apapa. This complex was urgently needed for SCOA’s rapidly expanding transport interests. The next step was to build the new company headquarters, Lapal House, a fifteen (15) storey office block with shops, vehicle workshops and garage space on Igbosere Road, Lagos.
The Lapal property company now has interests, not only in and around Lagos, but as far a field as Kano, Jos and Port-Harcourt. The transfer of the NIPC assets through the Western Nigeria Marketing Board to Wemabod Estates Limited, gives Wemabod ownership of all the Lapal Properties. The interest of NIPC transferred to Wemabod Estates Limited was 98%, while SCOA Nigeria Limited, held the remaining 2% with the power to appoint one person to the Board but without profit sharing.
Up till September 1990, the position was that SCOA remained the tenant in virtually all the properties of Lapal Property Company Limited and also retained its non-profit sharing representation on the Board of Lapal Property Company Limited.
When it became obvious that the previous arrangement had outlived its usefulness, arrangements were made in earnest to work out a new order. Series of negotiation meetings were held between the Management of SCOA and Lapal. The Management of Lapal was also assisted during negotiations by the representative of the Holding Company – Odua’a Investment Company Limited.
The basis of sharing was that, all the properties which were regarded as the article of trade to SCOA were retained by SCOA while all the other properties returned to Lapal Property Company Limited. SCOA also divested itself of the two shares it held in Lapal Property Limited and its representation on the Lapal Property Building Co. withdrawn.
WEST AFRICAN PICTURES LIMITED
West African Pictures Limited, one of Wemabod Estates Limited’s subsidiary companies, owns many open air Cinemas in important urban cities through Nigeria. The sites of these Cinema Houses are well placed for further industrial or commercial development as the need may arise, in line with the company policy.
West African Pictures Limited actually became a subsidiary of Wemabod Estates Limited in 1975, via the directive of the then Military Governor of Western Region, that
the shares of the company be transferred to Wemabod Estates Limited
that the Real Estates assets: leasehold, lands and building be sold to Wemabod Estates Limited at mutually agreed prices.
films, motor vehicles, fixtures and fittings, furniture and equipment at book values be acquired and
goodwill to be determined after account has been finalized.
At inception, the company was saddled will the responsibility of
carrying on the business of distribution and exhibition of cinema to graphic films.
to carry the business of distribution of cinema to graphic equipment e.g. projectors, , films e.t.c and
to carry on the business of film production, rental and hiring.
However, with the advent of VHS, VCD, DVD and Home Video, the business is no longer yielding the required financial returns because cinema Houses’ patronage has been on the decline.
Hence the company has resorted to conversion of the existing structures to shops and halls, while the available land are being allocated to individuals to put up shops, makeshift kiosks and containers among others. All these allocations is believed will enhance the economic returns of the company.
At present, a comprehensive schedule of letting are being prepared in all the properties cum name of tenants, area occupied, rent paid as well as number of years granted.
The remaining functional Cinema Houses are Casino Cinema on Herbert Macaulay Street, Ebute-Meta, Lagos, Corona Cinema, Ita Faji Lagos, Queen Cinema, Ekotedo, Ibadan and Rex Cinema Tewogboye Street, Ondo.
COCOA INVESTMENT PROPERTY COMPANY LIMITED
This is a joint venture between the Ondo State Government and Wemabod Estates Limited.
The Company is registered to carry on business on Property Development, Builders of Houses and Shops of various descriptions and also to let out houses and to do all or anything pertaining to property development and management.
Wemabod Estates Limited owns 49% of the share capital while Ondo State Investment Company Limited owns 51%.