The management of Milan Industries Limited, owner of InterContinental Hotel Lagos, has refuted media reports credited to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), saying it may be forced to shut down InterContinental Hotels Lagos following alleged refusal of the hotel’s parent company, Milan Group, to pay rice duty.
In a statement, re-joinder, released at the weekend, the company said, “we Milan Industries Limited are the owners of InterContinental Hotel Lagos. We write this re-joinder to clarify and correct the misinformation being disseminated in the media concerning our refusal to pay import duty on rice and the decision of the NCS to shut down InterContinental Hotel.”
The company’s management noted that this became necessary because of the effect the publication would had made on its stakeholders and customers, saying “we are not in the business of importing rice and are a limited liability company; we cannot be held responsible for the alleged indebtedness of another company.
“It is also instructive to note that we are not named as a defaulter in the publication of the NCS in the… publication of Saturday, August 1, 2015.”
It therefore enjoined the general public to “disregard various media reports that InterContinental Hotel is to be shut down because of our indebtedness to NCS.”
It would be recalled that the NCS on Tuesday sealed the warehouses and business premises of four major rice importing firms over N23.6 billion unpaid rice duty and levies.
Wale Adeniyi, public relations officer of NCS, told a news conference in Lagos that the service would also not allow discharge of the companies’ imports in any of the nation’s ports.
The companies are Olam (Amuwo, Lagos), Stallion/Popular Foods/Masco Agro (Iganmu, Lagos) Ebony Agro (Wuse, Abuja) and Conti Agro (Victoria Island, Lagos).