Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the operator of the Le Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort in Akwa Ibom State, has terminated its contract with the Akwa Ibom State government.
Starwood, in a letter written on August 13 to the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, and other state officials, said the agreement between it and the government terminates on September 14.
This means the company would cease to manage the state-owned five-star hotel located in Uruan, a few kilometres away from Uyo, the state capital.
Starwood said in its letter that apart from the government failing to pay its debt to the hotel as and when due, it was also “failing to deposit in the Operating Account the amount of funds requested by Operator within fifteen (15) days after delivery of Operator’s Fund Request” as spelt out in their agreement.
The letter was signed by Ibrahim Barghout, a lawyer, on behalf of Starwood.
The government as at March was in default of N394 million, according to Starwood.
Starwood had previously written two other letters alerting the government of the likely consequences of not honouring the agreement it had with the company.
Starwood, which is a worldwide hospitality organisation, manages Le Meridien, Sheraton and other famous brands around the world.
Le Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, built in 2007, has over the years been a choice location for residents and people visiting the state.
It also enjoys great patronage from the state government.
Celestine Ekwere, a spokesperson for the hotel, said he was not aware of the letter to the state government and, therefore, could not comment on it.
The Commissioner for Information in the state, Charles Udoh, told PREMIUM TIMES, Tuesday, that the government did not receive the letter from Starwood.