Barely months after opening its doors to receive guests, Golden Tulip Hotels in Festac, Lagos, has officially opened with Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola assuring of the state’s readiness to continue to partner with the corporate sector to boost capacity and infrastructural development in the state.
Governor Fashola who was represented by his deputy, Mrs Orelope Adefulire, at the weekend event which held at the hotel’s premises in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, said the official launch of the Golden Tulip Festac, was a product of the state’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) programme embarked upon to reposition Lagos as a major tourist and business destination.
According to Fashola, the presence of other top hotel brands in the state like Oriental Hotels, Four Points by Sheraton, Radisson Blu underscored the commitment of the state at partnering with the private and corporate sector at lifting the hospitality industry as well as boosting the employment situation in the state.
Describing the hotel as ‘a wonderful investment’, the state governor said the project was in line with the state’s long term vision of poverty alleviation and infrastructural growth through the PPP arrangement, just as she urged the firm to explore other areas of investment opportunities within the framework of the partnership.
“This is a wonderful investment. I’d like to congratulate the UACN Property Development Company (UPDC), the property owners for project. This is in line with the Lagos state Government plans for poverty alleviation and infrastructural growth through the PPP arrangement. This is the only state where you are guaranteed returns on your investment,” said the governor, further pledging that the state cooperation with investors seeking to work with the state under the PPP arrangement.
On his part, Group Managing Director of the UAC Nigeria, Mr. Larry Ettah said his firm’s decision to acquire and develop the property was informed by the desire to reposition both the immediate environment and the state in general in the global tourism map.
“Our decision to acquire the property was motivated by the desire to take a troubled edifice that was once a national pride and create out of it a tourist destination that will reshape the entire landscape of Amuwo Odofin and Lagos in general,” said Ettah.
While aligning with the state’s long term vision in infrastructural development, Ettah restated his firm’s willingness to ‘contribute our quota to the development of the state as a tourist destination’, saying the hotel when fully completed would ‘provide employment opportunities for thousands of people and also reshape the social-economic landscape of this community.’
Stating that the newly opened hotel was designed to ‘meet the need of the market and the locality in which it is situated’, Managing Director of the UPDC, the property owners, Mr. Hakeem Ogunniran, in his address, announced that the official opening represented the completion of the first phase of the hotel development project, as the second and third phases are in the pipeline.
When fully completed Ogunniran said the facility would include a world-class shopping mall and entertainment centre to be known as Festival Mall, which forms the third phase of the project’s expansion works.
Ogunniran who put the total capital cost of the investment at the hotel at N18 billion inclusive of capitalized interest charges, however, noted that the money has been repaid to the financial partners, just as he pleaded with the state government to address what he termed ‘regeneration of the infrastructure’ in the Amuwo Odofin environment, as according to him,‘ this will assist in creating the right atmosphere for our proposed investments in the area.’
The official opening ceremony of the Golden Tulip coincided with a two-day retreat by the Lagos State government executive and legislative bodies including local government chairmen in the state, hence, the presence of most top state government officials at the brief ceremony.
Golden Tulip is a brand of West African major hotel brand that is also flagged in Ghana. The Festac property is owned by the UAC Property Development Company (UPDC), a subsidiary of the UAC Nigeria plc under the platform of the UPDC Hotels Limited.
Formerly flagged as the Festac ’77 Hotels and then the Durbar Hotels, the property was acquired by the UACN Property Development Company Plc in 2002 under the federal government’s then privatization programme executed by the Bureau of Private Enterprises (BPE) through a bid tender.
The facility was originally constructed in 1976 by the federal government to serve as legislative quarters during the Second Republic spanning 1979 to 1983. The complex was later converted to a hotel (Festac 77) by government which engaged the Arewa Hotels (Development) Limited, a subsidiary of the New Nigeria Development Company Limited, as property managers.
The hotel which was in full operations until early 1982 was however closed down following the relocation of the federal capital to Abuja, only to be resuscitated in 2002.
The Golden Tulip Festac has today been redeveloped into a 4-Star, 471-room long stay apartment with office space as well as residential facility for corporate clients and with room rates starting at N60, 000 per night.