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We Are Owners of Oriental Hotel, Lagos, Not Tinubu” – WEMPCO

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Western Metal Products Company (WEMPCO) Group, owners of Lagos Oriental Hotel, has denied insinuations in some quarters that it is owned by the national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a statement by Taiwo Alli, Executive Director Corporate Affairs, Wempco Group the hotel’s management said: “Western Metal Products Company (WEMPCO) Group, owners of Lagos Oriental Hotel, formally acknowledge that there was an attack on our property on October 20, 2020, when hoodlums armed with guns, knives and bottles, forcefully gained entrance to our facility, assaulted some of our security personnel and damaged properties.

“Unidentified individuals whose motives remain unknown to us have gone to town with a rather unfortunate narrative claiming that the Lagos Oriental Hotel is the investment of politicians, thereby exposing it to unwarranted attacks.

“Lagos Oriental Hotel is owned by the WEMPCO Group with 99percent shareholding. The WEMPCO Group of Companies was founded by businessman and entrepreneur Mr. K.F. Tung over fifty (50) years ago.

“The Lagos Oriental Hotel is a flagship in the Nigerian hospitality business but is not a flagship of the WEMPCO Group. It is an investment made by the Group in 2008, but not part of their core manufacturing business.

“At present, WEMPCO Group provides jobs for over 25,000 young Nigerians, affording them the opportunity to earn a living and gain useful experience. It is therefore unfortunate the attempt to disrupt our business and tarnish our image painstakingly built over the years.

“Speaking on the development, the Managing Director, Mr. Lawrence Tung noted that ‘like other responsible businesses operating in Nigeria, Lagos Oriental Hotel is hopeful that closure will be brought to cases of injustice identified in the country. It is however important to protect our businesses from unwarranted attacks by individuals who may not be aware of the facts around our existence.

‘We are fully cooperating with the authorities in their investigations into the remote and immediate causes of the incident that occurred on 20, October 2020 and assure our numerous clients and partners that we are working to ensure that normalcy returns to the hotel.”

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Hospitality

N1Billion: LASG Designs Eligibility Form For Tourism Fund Applicant

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The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has designed an eligibility form for interested practitioners to have access to the N1 Billion seed capital for investment in the tourism and hospitality sector.

A statement issued at the weekend by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, said that the eligibility form is available at http://tsp.lagosstate.gov. ng for all interested persons to fill and generate a code upon completion of the online form.

Akinbile-Yussuf recalled that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down all tourism and entertainment-related businesses, announced the approval of N1 Billion seed capital to help drive new growth in the tourism sector, being one of the sectors affected by the deadly disease.

She stated that although the seed capital for the recovery and revitalisation of the hospitality sector is domiciled with Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture decided to design a form that would help identify genuine practitioners, who have verifiable information domiciled with the Ministry.

Explaining the rationale behind the online form, the Commissioner stated that the exercise is to ensure judicious disbursement of funds to genuine and qualified practitioners in tourism, hospitality and entertainment-related businesses.

According to her, applicants for the seed capital must have their business within the creative and hospitality sector, been in existence for one year and duly registered with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture or Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, depending on the nature of the establishment.

She added that the applicants must provide Evidence of Tax Compliance, register with Lagos State Residents’ Registration Agency, LASRRA and provide Guarantors with sizable income, among other requirements.

Akinbile-Yussuf, however, implored interested and qualified practitioners to visit the Hotel and Licensing department of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture at Block 10, The Secretariat, Alausa Ikeja for further clarifications about the eligibility form and any other assistance or call 08023320906.

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Hospitality

Transcorp To Reduce It’s Workforce By 40 % Due To Covid-19 Impact

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Th hospitality business remains of the most affected industry due to Covid-19 and Transcorp Hotels in Abuja is not left out.

The management announced on Thursday that it will reduce its workforce by 40 percent due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the hospitality business.

All executives of Transcorp Hilton in Abuja have also taken a pay cut as part of cost-saving strategies and we are looking at restructuring our business strategy and optimise operations, Dupe Olusola, the Managing Director said on Thursday.

According to Olusola, the occupancy level at the hotel dropped to its lowest of less than five percent.

“The impact of COVID-19 on the business is like nothing the company has ever witnessed. The hotel and hospitality industry in Nigeria has never faced a crisis that brought travel to a standstill, including the Ebola Virus Outbreak of 2014 and the recession of 2015,” she said.

“The slow pick up of international travel, restriction on large gatherings, the switch to virtual meetings and fear of the virus, has drastically reduced demand for our hotels and occupancy levels to its lowest of less than 5%.”

The managing director said staff were paid full salaries in March and April when the lockdown first began and has had to adopt several cost-saving initiatives since then.

“Despite the losses incurred we have fulfilled our obligations to staff. At the inception of the pandemic, we maintained a 100% salary payment to our over 900 employees in March and April. We also activated various cost-saving initiatives such as renegotiations of service contracts and restructuring of our loans.

“We suspended further commitment to buy fixed assets and operating equipment as well as reducing our energy consumption and maintenance costs. Despite undertaking these, it has become apparent that more fundamental changes need to be made for the business to survive.

“To this end, our workforce headcount will be reduced by at least 40%, and our reward system will be optimized.”

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Hospitality

Buhari To Commission NCDMB 17-Storey Headquarters In Bayelsa

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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday next week unveil the newly completed 17-storey headquarters building of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

In a statement obtained by Grassroot.ng on Friday, President Buhari will perform the commissioning virtually after undertaking a virtual tour of the Nigerian Content edifice, together with other accompanying facilities-the 1000-Seater Capacity Auditorium, Four-Level Car Park and 10 megawatts gas-fired Independent Power Plant at Elebele.

The power plant was constructed in partnership with the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and will provide uninterrupted electricity to the NCDMB structures, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Park being developed by the Board at Emeyal 1 Bayelsa State and select structures in the state.

Providing details of the event, the Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote explained that a part of the event will be held in Yenagoa.

He indicated that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva will lead the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari and the Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri to participate in the event on site.

He also hinted that most of the invited dignitaries will be given opportunity to join Mr. President via the Zoom virtual meeting platform where they would witness the commissioning of the buildings.

Wabote also confirmed that the Board had concluded arrangements for live telecast of the event on the Nigerian Television Authority, Channels Television, TV Continental and Arise Television from 11.30am as well as on the Board’s social media platforms, to create ample opportunities for members of the public to witness the event.

The ultra-modern Nigerian Content Tower was started in 2015, executed by an indigenous company, Megastar Technical & Construction using mostly locally sourced materials and labour.

The project generated over 250 direct and indirect jobs and created vast opportunities for artisanal skill development.

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