A subsidiary of NIPCO Plc, 22 Hospitality Ltd, has said it has acquired a majority stake in Capital Hotels Limited, owners of Abuja Sharaton Hotel.

A statement by the Assistant General Manager, Corporate Affairs, NIPCO, Lawal Taofeek, said that the deal was part of the concerted efforts of the integrated downstream operator to diversify into the nation’s hospitality industry

The Group Executive Director, NIPCO Plc, Aminu Abdulkadir, said the new investors were now desirous to restore the hotel to its former glory and to reposition it as the first-choice luxury hotel in Abuja.

He said, “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, Marriot/Starwood has continued to manage the Sheraton Abuja Hotel which is now in a dilapidated and deplorable state”

The statement further explained that the new investors were keen to turn around the fortunes of the hotel through the injection of substantial new capital under certain preconditions.

He said, “Further, as part of the new investors commitment to manpower development in the hospitality industry, it is keen to establish a ‘Hospitality Academy’ in Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Government to train the Nigerian youths in the various hospitality skill sets. This initiative is borne out of the current global shortage of trained and experienced hospitality manpower.

“Indeed, the statistics show that there are currently more than one million job vacancies in housekeeping, waiters, chefs, security, IT and maintenance. 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.”