NIPCO acquires majority stake in Abuja Sheraton Hotel

Sheraton Hotel Abuja

Nigerian energy company, NIPCO Plc, says it has acquired a majority stake in Capital Hotels Plc (CHP), owners of the Abuja Sheraton Hotel.

Although it did not give further detail on the share purchase, NIPCO said the acquisition of the Abuja Sheraton Hotel was executed through one of its wholly-owned subsidiary, 22 Hospitality Limited.

The deal, which it said is a conscious move to drive its mission to diversify into the hospitality industry, comes six years after the company acquired the downstream arm of the local unit of ExxonMobil – Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc, now known as 11plc.

In a statement by the Assistant General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Lawal Taofeek, quoted the Group Executive Director of NIPCO, Aminu Abdulkadir, as saying that the new investors are desirous of restoring the hotel to its former glory of being the first-choice luxury hotel in Abuja.

He said this strategic drive is also aimed at making the hotel carve a niche for itself by becoming a leading hospitality firm offering premium services to customers, in accordance with global standards.

“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, Marriott/Starwood has continued to manage the Sheraton Abuja Hotel, which is currently in a dilapidated and deplorable state,” Abdulkadir said.

…statistics showed that there are currently more than one million job vacancies in housekeeping, waiters, chefs, security, IT and maintenance of the hospitality industry.

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.

As part of the commitment to manpower development in the hospitality industry, the new investors disclosed plans to establish a ‘Hospitality Academy’ in Nigeria in collaboration with the federal government to train Nigerian youths in various hospitality skill sets.

“This initiative is borne out of the current global shortage of trained and experienced hospitality manpower. Indeed, statistics showed that there are currently more than one million job vacancies in housekeeping, waiters, chefs, security, IT and maintenance of the hospitality industry,” the statement said.

It added that the CHP Hospitality Academy will not only train Nigerians for local employment, but will also equip them with the requisite expertise to seek overseas placements to fill the large volume of vacancies in other parts of the world, thereby becoming a veritable recourse in the quest to reduce unemployment in Nigeria.

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