ACCIMA accepts Swiss International Hotels takeover bid of Enyimba Hotels
Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), a city chamber, has accepted Swiss International Hotels and Resorts Services West Africa Limited takeover bid of Enyimba International Hotels, a proposed five-star hotel under construction in the commercial city.
This development without doubt is an indication that the ongoing regeneration of Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, by the Governor Okezie Ikpeazu-led administration, aimed at attracting fresh investments into the city, is yielding fruit.
Consequently, the Abia State governor is billed to inaugurate the commencement of work on the facility, scheduled for today at the hotel premises, situated opposite the Aba River, Ogbor Hill, along Ikot Ekpene Road.
BusinessDay gathered that Swiss International Hotels and Resorts Services West Africa Limited, one of the world’s most dynamic hotel groups, would complete and manage the imposing edifice, which is about 80 percent completed, before it was abandoned, due to bureaucratic bottleneck.
On completion, the hotel would join a league of upscale hotels in Nigeria branded and managed by the Switzerland-based Swiss International Hotels and Resorts, including Swiss International Westown, Lagos, and Swiss International Mabisel, Port Harcourt.
In the minds of the founding fathers, Enyimba Hotels was designed not only to beautify Aba, but also to develop the area as a tourist centre.
However, more than 30 years of that initiative, the hotel is yet to be realised, leaving the entire facility to rot away.
Although ACCIMA that acquired the facility from the old Imo State government, made some attempts to complete the project, but their efforts did not yield much dividend.
BusinessDay also gathered that the first phase of the project required more than N1 billion to complete, which prompted the chamber to seek partners to ensure that the hotel was realised.
The project started in the late seventies as Aba Hotels Limited, and was about 80 percent completed, during the Sam Mbakwe-led administration of the old Imo State, with all the furniture and other fittings imported and ready for installation.
However, the creation of Abia State from the Old Imo State in 1999, brought everything to a halt due to the change in government and the sharing of assets and liabilities among the two states.
But the facility was awarded to Abia State, because ACCIMA started making financial commitments immediately after winning the bid exercise, even before the new state was created and when they completed payment, all the documents were handed to them.
Macaulay Nwankwo, chairman of board of directors of the hotel, explained that the facility would be the first five-star hotel in Aba, as it would boast of boat trips between Aba and Azumiri in Ukwa East Local Government Area of the state.
“I can say that we are at the final onward journey, because the hotel as it stands is about 80 percent completed. It has provisions for 120 rooms and a foundation has already been made for an additional 100 rooms,” he said.
If the original plan of the five star hotel is followed, the natural river in front of the facility will be dredged to accommodate boat rides and artificial sand beach.
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