NIPCO Plc has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Capital Hotels Plc (CHP), owners of the Abuja Sheraton Hotel.
The deal, which was sealed by 22 Hospitality Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of NIPCO Plc, is part of the concerted efforts of the integrated downstream operator to diversify into the nation’s hospitality industry
NIPCO’s Assistant General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mr Taofeek Lawal, in a statement, which quoted the Group Executive Director, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadir, explained that the new investors are now desirous to restore the hotel to its former glory and reposition it as the first-choice luxury hotel in Abuja.
The hotel is currently managed by Starwood/Marriott under various system license Agreements with CHP. In the past, Starwood had acknowledged in various reports that the hotel was “in a very degraded state and will require hard renovations” to make it brand compliant. However, despite the hotel’s poor condition and non-compliance with its brand standards, Marriot/Starwood has continued to manage the Sheraton Abuja Hotel which is now in a dilapidated and deplorable state.
The statement added that the new investors are keen to turn around the fortunes of the hotel through the injection of substantial new capital under certain preconditions. The new investors equally disclosed commitment to manpower development in the hospitality industry, saying it was keen to establish a ‘Hospitality Academy’ in Nigeria in collaboration with the federal government to train the Nigerian youths in the various hospitality skill sets.
This initiative, the company said, is borne out of the current global shortage of trained and experienced hospitality manpower. “Indeed, the statistics show that there are currently more than one million job vacancies in housekeeping, waiters, chefs, security, IT and maintenance,” the statement added.