Forensic audit into affairs of Ikeja Hotel concluded, says Idigbe
The long-awaited forensic audit into the affairs of Ikeja Hotel Plc, which commenced since 2017, would soon be made public, as the Interim Chairman, Chief Anthony Idigbe, announced yesterday that the report has been concluded.
At the Facts Behind the Figures of Capital Hotel Plc, in Lagos, Idigbe said the report is currently on the final stage of feedback, adding that by the first quarter (Q1) of 2020, substantial progress would have been made in the decision process.
Other members of the board in attendance at the event were Barr. Chuma Anosike, Dr Alexander Thomopulos, Toke Ibru, Fadeke Olugbemi, Abatcha Bulama, Helen Da-Suoza, Akpofure Ibru, and Robert Itawa.
Recall that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), had on May 4, 2017, taken a regulatory action to dissolve the former Board of Directors of Ikeja hotel Plc, and appoint an interim board led by Anthony Idigbe.
The objective of the action was to protect the investors of the company, to protect the integrity of the capital market and to restore the lost fortunes of the company in the shortest time possible.
The new interim board was thus mandated to oversee the conduct of a forensic investigation into the Hotel’s affairs, considering the allegations of unauthorised sale of shares and diversion of proceeds from the sale of shares amongst others.
Idigbe said: “The forensic report has been done and concluded. We are reviewing that report to give our feedback and final decision will be taken.
“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 the 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 in efforts to turnaround the fortunes of Capital Hotel, the new management has 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 Q1 2020, would increase the Hotel’s market share, enhance profitability, boost its visibility and makes it a hospitality destination in Abuja and environs.
“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, while fielding questions from market participants on the exit period of the interim management said: “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.”
The Executive Director of the Hotel, Robert Itawa, said the company’s cost associated with the legacy system from 2010 to date is totaled N2.8 billion, noting that the management has settled the sum of N110 million this year.
“For the past three years, this legacy cost alone is about N300 million. We have paid N110 million this year and from 2010 to date, the cost associated with the legacy system alone is N2.8 billion.
“That is why we have entered into negotiations with the union because we fell if we do not do something, the hotel will die and people will not get their money.
“In the next year, we would have completed the payment of whatever that is outstanding. We have been paying massively every year since that period without fail and that is why we are experiencing industrial harmony,” he said.
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