By Taofik Salako
Forensic auditors have concluded their examinations of the books and operations of Ikeja Hotel Plc and the report is currently undergoing board and regulatory reviews.
Speaking at a meeting with stakeholders at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, Chairman of Interim Board of Ikeja Hotel Plc, Chief Anthony Idigbe, SAN, said the forensic audit has been concluded and the report now going through final decision process.
Nigeria’s apex capital market regulator, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had on May 04, 2017 dissolved the former board of directors of Ikeja hotel Plc and appointed an interim board led by Idigbe. The new interim board was then mandated to oversee the conduct of a forensic investigation into the affairs of the company considering the allegations of unauthorized sale of shares and diversion of proceeds from the sale of shares amongst others.
Idigbe said the report is currently on the final stage of feedback, adding that by the first quarter of 2020, a substantial progress would have been made in the decision process.
“We are happy that by the first quarter of next year, substantial progress would have been made in the decision process. SEC is going through to ensure that rights of fair hearing are not breached. The process is so important. We are trying to get a solution that would be sustainable,” Idigbe said.
He explained that as part of efforts to turnaround the fortunes of the hotel group, the new management of the Hotel had commenced an upgrade of some facilities in the hotel.
According to him, the renovation of 97 rooms of its 500 room facility has begun, while a total of 266 rooms would be put back at the market.
He said the release of the newly renovated rooms in first quarter of 2020 would increase the company’s market share, enhance profitability, boost its visibility and make it a hospitality destination in Abuja and environment.
“We have about 266 rooms to put back at the market out of which we are doing 97 rooms right now with internally generated revenue,” Idigbe said.
He assured that the interim board has no intention of prolonging its stay on the affairs of the company noting that the board will step down once it achieves its mandate.
“I want to assure you that some of us will like to exit as quickly as possible and as soon as necessary. We continue to see it as a national service to perform this role. We are very proud of the work we have done so far but be assured that we will not stay a minute longer than necessary,” Idigbe said.