Reps want Abuja Sheraton Hotel’s post-acquisition plan revised


Sheraton hoteliers say they have put in place measures to bring the services of the hotel to international standards.

The House of Representatives Committee on Commercialization and Privatisation has asked the management of Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers to work towards the immediate revision of the Post-Acquisition Plan, PAP, of the hotel.

Chairperson of the committee, Khadijat Bukar-Ibrahim, said this during the second leg enterprise visit to the hotel. She said that the review of the plan has become inevitable as changes in government policies have continued to impede the successful execution of the agreements by investors.

At inception in 2002, the new core investor proposed its post-acquisition plan in three phases to commence from the third quarter of 2003 to June 2006.

The five-year lock-in period lapsed in 2007 and the lawmakers want the management of the hotel to liaise with the Bureau of Public Enterprises, BPE, to monitor the enterprise; in order to ensure complete implementation of the Share Purchase Agreement with government and put in place appropriate timelines to meet its covenants.

“The review should begin from 2010 to 2017 so that the investor could re-strategise to tackle the challenges in implementing the covenants,” Mrs. Bukar-Ibrahim said. “The committee is not out to witch-hunt, but is determined to accelerate economic growth in Nigeria through its oversight duties.”

The Acting Director in charge of the BPE’s Post-Privatisation, Sanusi Sule, had told the lawmakers that the compliance level of the investor to the initial PAP is poor, adding that urgent steps should be taken to compel the management to carry out necessary reviews of the terms of agreement.

Presenting the new core investor’s scorecard, General Manager of the hotel, Robert Itawa, told the lawmakers that since taking over of management of the hotel in 2002, the management has put in place innovative measures to bring its service standards up to what is obtained in all Sheraton Hotels worldwide.

“As part of our effort to remodel the hotel to international standards, we have ordered 2,000 chairs, 240 sets of plasma TV and swift sleeper beds. We are also redesigning the rooms and we have timelines to achieve these”, Mr. Itawa said.

He announced that a team of experts from Sheraton International is already in the country to carry out a comprehensive redesign of the hotel to give it modern aesthetics look.

The General Manager said in the post privatisation period, the core investor paid N391.7 million in taxes to the Federal Government as against the N33.5 million paid during the pre-privatisation era.

Mr. Itawa called for consistency in government policies to move the hospitality business forward in the country, pointing out that multiplicity of taxes by various ministries, departments and agencies is a major challenge to the business.

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