Sheraton Hotel Gets New Lease of Life, As NIPCO subsidiary, 22 Hospitality Ltd Acquires Majority Stake.

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22 Hospitality Ltd, a fully owned subsidiary of NIPCO Plc, has acquired a majority stake in Capital Hotels Plc (CHP), previous owners of the prestigious Abuja Sheraton Hotel.The deal is a conscious move to drive the company’s mission to diversify into the hospitality industry.

NIPCO Plc is a key downstream operator in the nation’s hydrocarbon industry with its footprints across the country.

The Group Executive Director of NIPCO Plc, Alhaji Aminu Abdulkadir, stated that the new investors are now desirous of restoring the hotel to its former glory and to reposition it as the first-choice luxury hotel in Abuja.

The strategic drive is also aimed at making the hotel carve a niche for itself by becoming a leading hospitality firm offering premium services to customers in accordance with global standards.

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 currently in a dilapidated and deplorable state.

The new investors are keen to turn around the fortunes of the hotel through the injection of substantial new capital under certain preconditions.

As part of the new investors commitment to manpower development in the hospitality industry, plans are in the pipeline to establish a ‘Hospitality Academy’ in Nigeria in collaboration with the Federal Government to train Nigerian youths in various hospitality skill sets.

This initiative is borne out of the current global shortage of trained and experienced hospitality manpower. Indeed, statistics showed that there are currently more than one million job vacancies in housekeeping, waiters, chefs, security, I.T. and maintenance of the hospitality industry.

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 in other parts of the world, thereby becoming a veritable recourse in the quest to reduce unemployment in Nigeria.