By Dipo Olowookere
Chairman of Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp), the core investor in Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr Tony Elumelu, has been handed over the Certificate of Discharge of the iconic hospitality facility.
The presentation was done in Abuja on Monday, October 14, 2019 by the Nigerian Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, at a ceremony that took place at the Presidential Villa.
Business Post reports that a certificate of discharge is a document issued to an investor by government indicating that he has met requirements for the acquisition of a public asset and was now in charge.
It was gathered that a its meeting yesterday, the National Council on Privatisation (NCP), which is chaired by Mr Osinbajo, handed over full ownership of Transcorp Hotels to the buyer after fulfilling all privatisation conditions attached to the sale of the property in 2005.
According to the Director-General of Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the agency which supervised the sale of the hotel, Mr Alex Okoh, Transcorp excelled at achieving the KPIs established during the monitoring and evaluation of the asset.
He said the key areas of achievement included an increase in customer base by 113 percent, increase in service excellence captured by an 82 percent decrease in customer complaints, and an increase in operational efficiency with retained earnings rising to 70 percent of turnover.
“The success achieved by the hotel has evidently proven both the diligent process of implementing the privatisation programme on one hand and the commitment and professionalism of the management team of the hotel on the other,” he said, adding that “The approval is sequel to the review and analysis of the outcome of our routine performance evaluation earlier conducted on the hotel, which clearly indicates that the achievements recorded by Transcorp Hotels are in line with all the covenanted obligations embedded in the Share Sale Purchase Agreement (SSPA).”.
Recall that in 2005, Transcorp emerged the core investors in the privatisation of the hotel asset, which later became Transcorp Hotels Plc in 2014 following a decision to make this iconic asset available to the investing public as shareholders.
The company later extended its reach to Calabar, Cross River State, operating as Transcorp Hotels Calabar and further acquired strategic properties in Lagos and Port Harcourt where it intends to develop new hotels.
In 2018, Transcorp Hotels completed a $100 million upgrade of the iconic and multi-award winning Transcorp Hilton Abuja, which was a key factor that led to the final discharge of the company by the BPE from further post- privatisation obligations.
Commenting on this, Mr Elumelu said, “Our group is known for business turn around and value creation and I support public-private partnership as a viable option for catalysing our economic development.
“For public-private partnerships to work and become a viable approach for the transformation of our country, privatised entities and their owners must justify government’s confidence in them by visibly improving the acquired assets, create jobs, and increase government revenues.
“Such positive outcomes will encourage the government to privatise more national assets and free itself of revenue for critical social and infrastructure sectors such as education, healthcare, roads, transportation, etc.”
He also commended this government for its efforts in driving economic development in Nigeria.
Also speaking on the discharge, the MD/CEO of Transcorp Hotels Plc, Mr Owen Omogiafo, stated that, “This is a significant milestone in the history of our company and a further demonstration of our long-term commitment to improving lives and transforming our nation.
The hotel recently won the prestigious World Travel Awards 2019 in five categories including Africa’s Leading Business Hotel and received the Signum Virtutis (Seal of Excellence) in the Hotels Sector for Nigeria at the 2019 Seven Stars Luxury Hospitality and Lifestyle Awards.
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