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Closure of Lafia Hotel, Apata, Ibadan: A stitch in time

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Hospitality industry watchers were stunned last Friday when the Management  of Odu’a Conglomerate Limited, shut down, one of its three hospitality concerns called Lafia Hotel, located in Apata, Ibadan, Oyo State.

The news of the closure filtered to the space through a press release signed by Victor Ayetoro, Head, Corporate Affairs, “LAFIA HOTEL SHUT DOWN Management of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, owners of Lafia Hotel located along Abeokuta Road, Apata in Ibadan, Oyo State has shut down the hotel as s starting point of the new strategy of the group to reposition the hotels in its chain.

The action taken on Friday, June 29, 2018 became imperative following the directive of the Odu’a  Board/Shareholders to put a stop to the recurring losses being incurred by the hotels in the group over time to salvage the legacy of the heritage bequeathed by our forebears.

The hotels have been struggling with inability to meet up with their financial obligations which include among others; backlog of workers’ salaries, huge debts to creditors, non-remittance of statutory commitments such as VAT, WHT utility bills.

Odu’a Investment Co. Ltd, the sole owner of the hotels had on many occasions came to the rescue of the hotels by releasing funds for renovation purposes and settling some of the outstanding hotel debts/statutory obligations which had been the experience in the past years without any significant improvement in the fortunes of the hotels.

With this new development, the general public is assured that all Third Party claims will be reviewed and sorted out appropriately.

Lafia hotel is one of the hotels inaugurated by Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s government as a step to tap in the tourism economy together with the Premier Hotel and Lagos Airport Hotel . All the three are under the auspices of Odu’a Conglomerate and they all maintained the sanity of a prosperous hospitality concern

Lafia Hotel was one of the best hotels in Nigeria in the 70s which was the only one fit enough to  accommodate the then Head–of–State, General Yakubu Gowon who paid a visit to the Western State then .

Lafia Hotel has like other hospitality outfits been operating within the economic dictate and contemporary business climate overing in Nigeria. That is going from fair to good and for the better.

However, in the past four years, the hotel’s fortune has consistently slid from the good, to the fair and to the bad.

Hospitality watchers and observers who because of the patrimonial attachment to Odua’s property have been calling for cleaning or reformation of the hotel which has suffered from gross  bad administration and the fostering of incompetent leadership .

Lafia has almost all the values to blossom  as a first class hotel, location, infrastructure, facilities , space, ambience, solemnity, peace, and quietude, which I refer to as the hard drive, but regrettably it is grossly deficient when it comes to the software which is the most important.

I commend the Group General Manager of Oodua Conglomerate, for being  able to surmount the courage to take this bold and  very necessary but delicate step .

I also suggest that the two other hotels should be looked into if any of them which is on the brink of bankruptcy without an inkling or spark of survival either through innovative service or act of thinking out of the box which is capable of extricating the hotels from shachkes of indebtedness and under performance should  receive a thorough clinical operation by sieving the shafts from the grain.

The post Closure of Lafia Hotel, Apata, Ibadan: A stitch in time appeared first on Tribune.

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