Premier Hotel, Ibadan, one of the oldest hotels in Nigeria has been shut for renovation, and upgrading of the existing structure, according to its owner.
The hotel, owned by Western Hotels Limited, a subsidiary of Odu’a Investment company Limited had laid off all staff.
Victor Ayetoro, the firm’s head of branding and communication of conglomerate said in pursuit of excellence and commitment to repositioning the Hotel, the Company has entered into a joint venture agreement with a seasoned international Hotel development and management company with the requisite expertise, technical and financial capacity for redeveloping and revamping the Hotel.
In a statement signed on Wednesday, Ayetoro said “as a result, Premier Hotel will be shut down immediately in order to have a safe environment for the commencement, execution, and timely completion of the project”.
“The hotel redevelopment project will entail remodelling, renovating, and upgrading the existing structure as well as adding new and modern facilities befitting of a 5-Star world-class Hotel.
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He added that “this will take place in phases with anticipation that the first phase will be completed within 24 months.
According to Ayetoro, the ’New Premier Hotel’’ when completed will transit into additional upgraded rooms, equipped with international standard conferencing facilities, modern recreation and fitness centres, multiple restaurants serving African and Continental cuisines, etc.
“We have sought all necessary statutory and regulatory approvals from all relevant agencies. All obligations of the Hotel are being fulfilled and appropriate stakeholders in this respect are fully engaged in line with best practices.
Adewale Raji, the group managing director of Odu’a Investment Limited, said the facilities of the hotel would be upgraded and renovated to make it a five-star hotel.
According to him, it’s our plan to make our hotels world-class, we are renovating Premier Hotel and upgrading its facilities in collaboration with a global brand chosen by the board with the help of KPMG and approval of the shareholders.
While saying that the group was working with an internationally renowned partner to improve the hotel’s services and reputation stated that the hotel had not been sold.
The arrangement, being worked out with the partner, the GMD said would ensure the retention of ‘Premier’ in the name.
Raji further revealed that employees of the hotel had been disengaged and paid all of them off stressing “we had to do this because we are conscious of health and safety of the people”
All the owner state governors, he pointed out, were aware of the decision of the management of the group.