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How Kwara State Govt Awards Renovation Of Kwara Hotels To Two Contractors 

Kwara Hotels


How Kwara State Govt Awards Renovation Of Kwara Hotels To Two Contractors 

Concerns have been raised about the genuine intentions of the state government regarding the hotel

Ilorin, Kwara State– The Kwara State Executive Council last Wednesday approved the award of the redesigning and wholesale rebuilding of Kwara Hotel to Craneburg Construction Company Limited.

The project aims to transform it into a five-star hospitality facility at N17.8 billion, with a projected duration of 24 months.

According to the contract financing model, the prompt delivery of the construction and furnishing will be the most comprehensive since the legacy was constructed by the Brigadier-General David Bamigboye regime in 1975, clearly giving it an edge over any other facility in the entire North Central.

The contract award reportedly followed an extensive procurement process that commenced in September 2023.

Meanwhile, the recent announcement made by the Commissioner for Communication, Hon. Bola Olukoju, of the Award of the Remodelling and Rehabilitation of Kwara Hotels Limited to Craneburg Construction Company has come as a huge shock to well-meaning Kwarans who have been following the sequence of events since 2020 when the Kwara State Government disclosed its plans to reposition the hotel to a world-class standard.

It would be recalled that Harmony Holdings Limited published an invitation for the expression of interest to fix and operate the 172-room Kwara Hotels facility in The Herald newspaper on 18th October 2020 but it also announced the appointment of a preferred bidder, Crystal Group of Companies, in July 2021.

In a letter dated June 2, 2022, retrieved from Page 2 of the National Pilot Newspaper of 19th December 2023, Harmony Holdings Limited clearly stated that the Kwara State Executive Council had approved the concession of Kwara Hotels to Crystal Group of Companies on a Fix and Operate basis.

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The Terms of Engagement cited by Afrika Eyes included the commitment of the sum of N3 billion by Crystal Group of Companies for the renovation and management of the hotel; the payment of concession fees for the 1st five years, and revenue profit sharing for the subsequent years.

In addition, the award letter stated that “Harmony Holdings Ltd shall pass an unencumbered property to Crystal Group of Companies, particularly regarding outstanding liabilities to the tune of N359,880,782.68 million”.

Considering that the approval of the State Executive Council was expressly transmitted to the Kwara State House of Assembly for its resolution on the concession of Kwara Hotels Limited to Crystal Group of Companies, it is quite surprising that the same contract has been awarded to Craneburg Construction Company.

While, the Kwara Hotels project, initially estimated at N3 billion by the Crystal Group of Companies, is now projected to cost a staggering N17.8 billion.

Meanwhile, the Crystal Group of Companies is claimed to have spent millions of naira on logistics and related expenses by inviting experts to the State for the inspection and commencement of the renovation of Kwara Hotel.

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How Craneburg arrived at that outrageous sum remains a mystery because going by the current inflation rate, a newly constructed 250-room hotel of 5-star standard costs less than 5 billion, Crystal Group said.

Craneburg, a Lebanese Construction company became a preferred company against Crystal who has been awarded to manage the hotel by the Kwara State Government and got approved by the State Assembly.

Not only has the company been awarded a N17.8 billion contract to renovate the 172-room Kwara Hotel facility on a contract financing basis but it has also been awarded several other contracts across the state, worth billions of naira.

Many stakeholders in the State lamented that the Kwara state government attaches more importance to foreign contractors at the expense of indigenous contractors.

Expressing his concern, an expert engineer in the State who doesn’t want his name to be mentioned said, “It must be stated unequivocally that Kwarans are breaking barriers in the world of civil engineering, architecture, real estate, hospitality and tourism. They are highly sought after across the world owing to their quality innovations and expertise.

“It’s disheartening to see indigenous contractors relegated in the development of their own state. The government’s preference for foreign services is poised to undermine the determination of local contractors, leading to detrimental consequences for the state in the long term.”

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However, there are two Executive approvals for the renovation and remodelling of the Kwara Hotel facility.

Concerns have been raised about the genuine intentions of the state government regarding the hotel, which was once a source of pride for Kwara.

Since its establishment by Brigadier-General David Bamigboye in 1975 up till 2019, the hotel has prided itself as the preferred relaxation spot by both local and international tourists due to its top-notch hospitality services.

From the exquisite room decor to the delectable meals, and the serene ambience of the lounge and Ariya Garden, complemented by the ample parking space, conference rooms, and well-equipped gym, among other features, Kwara Hotels stands as a legacy project that must not be allowed to falter under the current administration.

The future of the hotel will be determined by how well the Kwara State Government handles the confusion it has created through the Award of the remodelling contract to Craneburg without revoking its earlier Award to Crystal Group of Companies owned by a real estate and hospitality business tycoon, Mashood Mustapha.

When contacted, Chief Press Secretary to Kwara State Governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said he was very occupied with preparing for many events.

He promised to get back to our correspondent. However, he had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report on Friday.

Buhari Olanrewaju Ahmed, a seasoned investigative journalist and climate/environmental reporter with a decade of experience, unravels complex issues and amplifies critical voices. His in-depth investigative work and insightful reporting have earned him recognition as a trusted source of information. Ahmed's unwavering commitment to journalism and exceptional storytelling prowess make him a standout figure in investigative journalism. His work drives meaningful conversations, influences policy decisions, and inspires collective efforts toward a sustainable future.

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