The family of late Ibadan-based businessman, Chief Francis Aiyegbeni, says it has not sold the popular Wallan hotel formerly known as D’Rovans.
Ms Edna Aiyegbeni, daughter of the late businessman, who spoke on behalf of the family, made the disclosure during a news conference in Ibadan.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Aiyegbeni had reacted to a report credited to a magazine, that the popular hotel in Ibadan has been sold to a businessman.
NAN recalls the hotel was sealed many years ago by the Assets Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) over indebtedness.
But the late businessman’s daughter described the report as false, saying the hotel has not been sold and the family has paid significant part of the debt owed.
She said that a negotiation was ongoing with Edge Executive Limited towards re-positioning the property to functional taste.
“I wish to state categorically that the report published by a magazine that the hotel has been sold to an Eruwa-born businessman is not true.
“We have an arrangement with Edge Executive Nigeria Limited to buy the building at the back of the hotel, which is one of the three phases of the hotel. This process is on and money is yet to exchange hands.
“We are also talking to the company on the management of the two other phases as a form of concessionaire.
“Talk on this is still ongoing too with the company,” she said.
According to her, the impasse between the family and AMCON has been resolved, having paid significant part of the loan owed by the hotel from the sale of a family property in Iyaganku GRA, Ibadan.
According to her, “What happened on the AMCON issue is very ridiculous. It is due to the family’s carelessness or my Dad’s failure to handover properly to the management.
“The amount actually taken from the bank was like N20 million but increased to over a N100 million due to lack of attention on the family’s part.
“The family’s property in Iyaganku, GRA has been sold to offset part of the loan. So, the amount owed has gone down significantly, ” she said.
Aiyegbeni said that the new management would take over the hotel assets and liabilities, saying the new management would offset the remaining part of the loan on agreed terms with AMCON.
She said that the ongoing arrangement would definitely bring relief to the family and save the heritage from extinction.
Aiyegbeni expressed confidence that the consultant expected to take over after conclusion of ongoing negotiation, would deploy professionalism in the management of the hotel.
Similarly, Mr Sikiru Akinniran, Managing Director, Edge Executive Limited, corroborated Aiyegbeni’s claims, saying the company was set to take over the management of the hotel.
“Our company is set to buy only a phase of the hotel which has 42 rooms and some other facilities.
“We are also negotiating on taking over management of the remaining two phases, on concessionaire basis,’’ he said.
He affirmed that the impasse between the family and AMCON has been resolved, saying the family has paid significant part of the debt.
Akinniran said that his company would offset the remaining debt to AMCON, as agreed when they take over management of the property.
He said that an effort was underway to bring the hotel back to functional state with first class services, promising the efforts would not be later that July.
Akinniran, however, said that the name of the hotel would be changed to ‘De Rovans’ towards bringing back the nomenclature of the hotel’s good old days.(NAN)