BY BERNARD TOLANI DADA, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State government has said that FourPoint Hotel at Ikot Ekpene is 97 per cent completed and is expected to commence operation before the end of this year.
The expansive 12-floor edifice whose construction started in 2013 was commissioned in an elaborate ceremony by former governor, Godswill Akpabio shortly before his exit from power in 2015.
But the hotel has come under heavy criticism by indigenes and residents as a failed project because it was yet to commence operations more than five years after it was inaugurated.
Officials of the state government said the hotel was not technically completed before commissioning as most of its facilities failed to meet the standard and specifications of the hotel managers, Starwood Group whose franchise was later taken over by Marriott.
Director of projects in the state Ministry of Special Duties, Engr Ephraim Udosen told our correspondent that the current administration has made additions and carried out modifications and upgrades in more than 50 key facilities and areas.
to meet the standards of the hotel managers who have also opened their recruitment portal to demonstrate their readiness to commence operation this year.
Udosen said the hotel has become one of the most technologically advanced in the country after several facilities were added and modifications and upgrades carried out in several of its facilities including the power installations, water treatment process, fire suppression and fighting systems, cooling system and ICT, in line with the requirements of the hotel managers.
According to him, the present administration constructed the parking lots, 310m access and link roads around the hotel, completed outstanding landscaping, procured transformers with switchgears and constructed dedicated power supply lines from the national grid to the hotel, thereby ensuring availability of constant power supply.