Marriott's Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the operator of the Le Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort in Akwa Ibom State, has terminated its contract with the Akwa Ibom State government.
Starwood, in a letter written on August 13 to the state governor, Udom Emmanuel, and other state officials, said the agreement between it and the government terminates on September 14.
This means the company would cease to manage the state-owned five-star hotel located in Uruan, a few kilometres away from Uyo, the state capital.
Le Meridien Ibom Hotel & Golf Resort, built in 2007, has over the years been a choice location for residents and people visiting the state.
The company said that the government as at March was in default of N394 million.
However, the governor said that the hotel management complained that they have been running the resort at a loss, but that he told them to be patient and allow the audit firm (Price WaterHouse Coopers) to conclude the exercise.
He said he was ready to protect the wealth of the people, without compromising his integrity.
“When they say that the government is not giving money (to the hotel), I ask them, how can you keep giving money like that for several years, without any dividend?” he said.
Mr. Emmanuel recounted the state government’s recent contributions to the hotel maintenance to include the provision of a 1500KVA generating system and the refurbishing of the entire lighting system, the toilets, and the cooling system.
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