Enugu revokes Hotel Presidential renovation contract, woos investors
- Monday, 18 June 2012
Following the termination of a contract meant to deliver an Enugu Hotel Presidential project, the Enugu State Government has commenced move to pick new partners, contractors that would see through the project.
The new drive, according to sources is fanned by the government’s desire to ensure that it preserves the central and historic place of hotel.
Enugu State government says it would soon scout for partners to put the hotel back to life.
Located close to Michael Okpara Square and the Lion Building, Enugu State Government House, the hotel is easily accessible.
Tucked within an expansive landmass at the Rangers Avenue and Presidential Avenue, the hotel boasts of 100 suites on four floors. Each floor houses specific bed spaces, while the ground floor presents the reception, shops for antics and sundry items as well as a conference hall.
Rising as a historical monument, Hotel Presidential has over the years attracted similar facilities around its environs. The landscaping with luxuriant flowers and capacious parking space for cars make the hotel the first choice whenever the search for a befitting venue for mega events is on.
But, things went awry especially during the military interregnums as the company’s revenue plummeted on a daily basis. But the years spanning 2000 through 2003 witnessed the greatest misfortune of the hotel said to have been designed like the State House of Assembly complex, by an Israeli firm. Some politicians used the place as complimentary accommodation to hangers on and host events that were not paid for. This further impacted negatively on the hotel.
Pioneer Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Ozo Joe Mmamel, denied that the state government has abandoned the foremost hospitality industry, pointing out that care is taken to ensure that the place is upgraded without defacing its original design. He disclosed that the search for genuine investors under a private public partnership arrangement has begun explaining that a competent investor that would be selected would build operate and transfer.
The Commissioner revealed that it was because of the premium the state government placed on the resuscitation of Presidential Hotel that it recently terminated with immediate effect the contract awarded to Status Symbol International Limited regretting that the company was foot-dragging on the renovation agreement.
Ozo Mmamel, told The Guardian that an important factor in the terminated agreement “was time frame because the state government does not want a situation where a company would stagnate its tourism development blue print”. “So we want to ensure that the agreement conforms to the development plan of this administration; the state government has often stated its preparedness to fast track the development of tourism in the state. It was intriguing that after three months of entering into the agreement, the company did not show serious signs of its preparedness to fulfill its side of the bargain. I can tell you that very soon we will advertise for fresh bids,” he added.
He stressed that prospective companies for the partnership apart from making provision for a nominal director and disclosing its fund portfolio would be expected to infuse the necessary innovations that could situate the hotel as the foremost hospitality industry in the state.
Status Symbol was on February 1, 2012 awarded the contract to “improve, renovate and rehabilitate Presidential Hotel”, but in terminating the agreement the state government said the company demonstrated lack of capability to handle the assignment.
In a letter with reference number AG/S.2/111/T, dated May 31, 2012; signed by the State’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Anthony I. Ani; the government informed the company that consequent upon its unwillingness to fulfill “your obligation, the lease agreement between you on one hand and Enugu State Government and Presidential Hotel is hereby terminated”.
Part of the letter entitled “Termination of Lease Agreement”, reads: “On the first day of February 2012, you entered into agreement with Enugu State Government and Presidential Hotel to improve, renovate and rehabilitate the Presidential Hotel. You undertook the said agreement to rehabilitate the hotel in accordance with the Project time schedule attached to the lease agreement.
Fundamentally, you have demonstrated that you are either incapable or unwilling to fulfill your obligation under the lease agreement as there is nothing in the Hotel indicative of your presence or any work going on or likely to go on in the near future. “Consequent upon the facts above, the lease agreement between you on one hand, Enugu State Government and Presidential Hotel on the other hand is hereby terminated with effect from the date there in”.
The commissioner disclosed that Status Symbol
Source; The Guradian
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