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Akwa Ibom signs new management deal for state golf resort

Akwa Ibom signs new management deal for state golf resort
December 23
23:46 2021

The Akwa Ibom state government has signed a new management deal with Icon Hotels & Resorts Nigeria Limited, operators of the Ibom Icon Hotel & Golf Resort.

According to the state, the new agreement, which will cover a period of 15 years, is to “reposition the leisure facility for effective service delivery and profitability”.

In his remarks, Udeme Ufot, chairman of the board of directors, Ibom Icon Hotel & Golf Resort, described the move as a significant development since the establishment of the resort in 2007 by the Victor Attah administration.

“Our prime asset was not going the way we wanted it to go, and that kind of concern must necessarily lead to some actions. And so in October 2020, the government of Akwa Ibom state took a bold decision to hand over this hotel, under an MoU for a 12-month test-run to Icon Hotels & Resorts Nigeria Limited to show us what they could do to turnaround this prime asset of the state,” he said.

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“It has been quite a journey, and the 12 months that they were given to show their skills have been executed, and we have reasons to believe that from what we have seen, there is clear evidence, even from guests’ comments, that there are improvements in this facility.

“Therefore, the state government has decided to move to the next stage of our plans for this hotel through Icon Hotels & Resorts Nigeria Limited, which is why we have gathered today to sign that long term management contract to take this our great asset to that level that would be the pride of the Akwa Ibom people.”

Speaking on the agreement, Akparawa Inyangeyen, chief of staff to the governor, said the state took the decision in the interest of bringing development to Akwa Ibom.

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“The process that started on the 2nd of October, 2020, has today culminated in the signing of this long term management service agreement of 15 years, where the hotel has now become Ibom Icon Hotel & Golf Resort, managed by the Icon group,” he said.

“The property remains that of the state, but the government has given the group a free hand to manage this hotel for our collective good.”

On his part, Oman Esin, commissioner for culture and tourism, expressed optimism that the new deal with yield positive outcomes.

“Through this deal, we have seen a facility that was very tired, but now wearing new a look, and bearing new innovations. We are very impressed with the level of administrative structure that has now been put in place to manage the operations of this hotel,” Esin said.

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Adetope Kayode, chief executive officer of Icon Hotels & Resorts Nigeria Limited, said his company remains committed to promoting excellence through the resort.

“The journey has been an amazing one. I thank you for the opportunity given to the Icon Hotels group, and the trust put on my organisation to lead the transformation of this great resource of the Akwa Ibom people,” he said.

Also present at the event which held on Thursday at the Mbo meting hall, Ibom Icon Hotel & Golf Resort in Uyo, were Uko Udom, attorney-general of Akwa Ibom; and Okon Okon, chairman of the state Internal Revenue Service.

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