The Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has corrected the impression among the people of the state that the immediate past governor of the state, Senator Godswill Akpabio, commissioned the Four Point by Sheraton at Ikot Ekpene.
The governor some weeks ago while briefing attendees at the monthly government house prayer session said that on the contrary, what the former governor commissioned was just the building, which does not amount to a hotel.
The governor accused the people, who accuse him of abandoning Akpabios projects of not understanding the differences between a building and a hotel. He stated that the state government still needs $7.2m, about N2, 577, 600, 000 at the current exchange rate, to turn the already commissioned building into a hotel.
For Ikot Ekpene hotel, that one I cant help it. We must still put in more money. But the issue there is that hotel is not a building. They say that the former governor has already opened the hotel. Sorry! A building is different from a hotel o! A building is not a hotel, he emphasized to the worshippers.
Throwing more light on the controversy surrounding what the people saw as the abandonment of the hotel, the governor went on to say, I need 7.2 million US dollars to turn that building into a hotel. And as at today, I have deposited the sum of 4 million US dollars, leaving a balance of 3.2 million US dollars and I am still looking for the 3.2 million dollars to pay so I can turn that building you see into a hotel. It is not yet a hotel.
The governor pleaded with the people of the state to understand that government is like a building block, where one is put on the other until all is built up, adding that it was not a personal thing and nobody should view it as such.
Some people dont understand some of these things. They will write that Udom has abandoned all Godswills legacies. Sorry! It is nothing personal. Dont try to create problems where there are none, the governor admonished.
The 4 Points by Sheraton Ikot Ekpene, was commissioned on Tuesday May 26, 2015 by Out-going governor, now Senator Godswill Akpabio, who during the occasion took guests, including Gov. Udom Emmanuel, who was then awaiting swearing in as governor, round the facilities of the 14-Story Oval shaped edifice , reputed to have 146 rooms, 14 suites, a 600-seater banquet hall, six meeting rooms, swimming pool, terrace, fountain, a presidential wing, among others. Akpabio had praised the contractors for delivering the project on time and showed off existing facilities around the hotel.
On January 13, 2017, as reported by Ibom Reporters (www.ibomreporters.com) retrieved on Nov. 17, 2017), in a report written by Henshaw Nyong and Ruth Essien; Akan Okon, Udom’s commissioner for special duties, who at the commissioning of the hotel in 2015, was the commissioner for finance under Akpabio, while “debunking the rumors that facilities and equipment were brought from Ibom Le Meridian Hotel and Golf Resort, for the purposes of commissioning the hotel in 2015”: the commissioner (Akan Okon) said, “Le Meridian is still operating today, not so? Now how come we have materials there and here at the same time?” He was reported as asking rhetorically.
Okon went on to tell the reporters, “It is a pity that what thrives in our state is rumour. People rarely verify information.
Thank God you people; men of the fourth estate of the realm have seen the true position here and you can differentiate between rumors and what you have seen here. I am sure you will also help us to inform our people properly that this place is at the stage of its usage, after we must have finished putting finishing touches in a few departments.”
By David Augustine