Akwa Ibom Government and Starwood International have signed a contractual agreement for the management of a four-point hotel by Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene.
The state Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Emmanuel Enoidem signed for the state government while the Vice President of Starwood International, Mr. Hassan Ahdab signed for his company at the Governor’s Office, Uyo.
Governor Godswill Akpabio remarked” The signing of the agreement is a another milestone for Akwa Ibom people and the building of the 4-point hotel is to strengthen our hospitality in the state. The project was awarded to Renaissance Construction Group and the construction of the hotel is already ongoing. We are on the seventh floor now and we are expected to commission the hotel on March 31, 2015. The hotel would be a 12-storey building, with 128 standard rooms, 16 suites, two presidential suites, meeting rooms, swimming pools, roof top cafe, among others.
The Governor stated that “Ikot Ekpene is one of the oldest cities in the state. It is not only known as a raffia city but it is an archival centre for Akwa Ibom state. The project is sited at where the former Ikot Ekpene Prison was located, which we had to pull it down and relocate the prison to another area, so the hotel would turn the place of grief to a place of joy, because this government came with a determination to turn our sorrow to an uncommon joy, which today has led to the uncommon transformation of the state.
“The hotel business ought to be a private-driven affair, but since the state is a civil service state, we then decided to give an enabling environment to the private sector to have a key role in the state”, he said.
On the Le’ Meridien Hotel and Golf Resort in the state, Akpabio disclosed that initially the hotel had some technical deficiencies, electro-mechanical issues, doors were not fire proof, among others, so his administration had to work with the management team of Starwood to bring the hotel to the standard of Starwood hotels and resort worldwide, with about 163 rooms, saying they were not enough for visitors entering the state, and that was the reason the state government had to build another 5 -star hotel at the Ibom Tropicana Entertainment Centre with 250 rooms.
He commended Starwood for the best management of the Le’ Meridian Hotel and Resort, and thanked the state Ministry of Special Duties and the construction company for the speedy construction of the project.
Speaking earlier, the Vice President of Starwood International, Mr. Ahdab, had thanked the state government for trusting in them, stressing that they would continue to support the state government for the continuous growth of the state.
He also applauded Governor Akpabio for the massive transformation of the state through infrastructures and for making Ikot ekepene a modern city through the project, stressing that the Governor has the potential for the growth of the state, disclosing that the 4-point by Sheraton Hotel is an apex of destination in the country.
The state Commissioner for Special Duties, Mr. Enoidem who also spoke said that the project is the continuation of the uncommon transformation, which he said is targeted in making the state a universal destination through infrastructure.
Enoidem added that the contract for the project was awarded in September 2013, and is sited at the heart of the city of Ikot Ekpene, stressing that the site of the project would b a comfort zone to the people and that the 4-point by Sheraton Hotel would be of an international standard.