• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
businessday logo

BusinessDay

Enugu on track to resuscitate state-owned Hotel Presidential

We will soon settle all outstanding pension matters in Enugu State – Mbah

The Enugu State Government says it is on track to resuscitate and revamp Hotel Presidential, a premier hotel in the heart of the State’s capital, revealing that contract to make that happen has been awarded.

The State Government also said that it was currently perfecting the terms of agreement for the resuscitation of the state-owned Nigergas Company Limited. This, the State added, is sequel to a memo by the Enugu State Investment Development Authority in line with Governor Peter Mbah’s drive to rehabilitate, refurbish and commission all dormant state assets such as Nigergas.

The State Government stated this after the State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Mbah at the weekend.

Aka Eze Aka, the Commissioner for Information and Communication, who briefed State House Correspondents along with his Culture and Tourism counterpart, Ugochi Madueke, said the moves were in line with the governor’s promise to convert all dormant assets in the state to productive assets.

According to Madueke, revamping of the Presidential Hotel would not only put Enugu in the world map as the premier destination for investment, tourism and hospitality, but also create jobs for the teeming youth population in the state.

“It is with great joy that I make this announcement because the hotel has been abandoned and had gone moribund over the past years. However, bringing it back to life will not only put our state on the world map again, but also create economic value-chain, market, tourism and employment for our youths,” the commissioner said.

Hotel Presidential was built by the administration of the late premier of the defunct Eastern Region, Michael Okpara, and opened in 1963. It ran as a prestigious hotel until it became moribund decades after.

Speaking on the Nigergas, Aka observed that the present administration was focused on reviving all moribund industries to create economy of scale for the state, and lead to the state selling its products beyond East of the Niger.

He said the approval for the revamp of the comatose company was based on a rigorous assessment of many commercial proposals and models presented to the state, establishing a compelling business case and profitability.

On his part, Sam Ogbu-Nwobodo, CEO, Enugu State Investment Development Authority, said the demand for medical oxygen and industrial gas in the country far outpaces the supply, hence the need for the state government to partner a reliable private player with proven integrity and track record to revamp the Nigergas and take advantage of the huge opportunities in the venture.

“The re-engineering, refurbishment, and subsequent commissioning of Nigergas is a deliberate step by Governor Mbah to provide the much-needed medical oxygen and industrial gas for the South East and the entire country because the country is hugely underserved,” he noted.

He added that, “the profitability profile, commercial and investment potential of the firm have been vetted with prospects of huge profit. We have everything on ground, and our timeline to kick off is certain. What remains is the paperwork because we already have the approval of the governor and now that of the state’s exco.”

Nwobodo said Nigergas would employ over a thousand workers, when resuscitated, explaining that the move to revamp the company was one in the series of projects aimed at reviving other moribund state-owned enterprises such as Niger Steel Limited., Sunrise Flour Mills, and the Aluminium Smelting Company at Ohebe Dim.