It was celebrations galore in Abuja last week as a new five-star hotel, the Wells Carlton Hotel and Apartments, was added to the lucrative hospitality industry in Abuja.
The official inauguration of the exquisitely furnished hotel provided an opportunity for fun-seekers to appreciate and witness the arrival of one of the best hotels in Abuja and possibly the best for local and international guests that desire outstanding hotel service.
Located at No 8, Gado Nasko Street, Asokoro, Abuja, the hotel was built and tastefully furnished to global standard, with a desire to close some gaps identified in hotel and hospitality services in Abuja.
The edifice, which was said to have taken nine years to complete and furnish, was launched by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in Abuja, last Saturday.
The event attracted highly respected individuals from the business and political class, as well as royal fathers within and outside Abuja, who came colourfully dressed to identify and celebrate with Capt. Hosa Okunbo and his family.
Being a gathering of political and business elite, many of them used the opportunity to interact and share jokes.
Okunbo, an Edo-born businessman and philanthropist, had scores of the high and low from the state who graced the event. They were there to lend their support to him.
His rich Edo culture and dance were used to entertain guests, in addition to performances by artistes who took turns to entertain guests with their stagecraft.
Popular comedian, Ali Baba, who handled the microphone as master of ceremonies, also kept the guest laughing all the way.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, led some National Assembly members to the event, while Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, his deputy, Philip Shuaibu, All Progressive Congress (APC), national chairman, Adams Oshiomole, and his predecessor, John Oyegun, led the political team from Edo.
FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, who could not attend the event, was represented by the executive secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA), Gambo Jibrin.
The Oba of Benin sent representatives, while the presence of US Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, and other members of the diplomatic corps, and businessmen and women were conspicuous at the event.
Osinbajo, obviously impressed with the facilities, declared that the arrival of the Wells Carlton Hotel and Apartments would herald a significant transformation in hotel services in Nigeria, particularly in promoting the Nigerian brand.
He encouraged Nigerians to be steadfast in chasing their dreams to conclusion, and not give up halfway, insisting that only people who are tenacious and consistent in pursuit of their dreams would fulfill and realise set goals and aspirations.
The Vice President was, however, unhappy that some Nigerians endowed with talent and ability to transform Nigerian society, always underestimate such endowments, hence they get discouraged whenever they face obstacles.
Chairman of the hotel, Okunbo, in his welcome remarks, recalled with nostalgia, the journey that culminated in completion of the magnificent edifice.
He was happy that he was able to fulfill his dream of being a job creator and a great contributor to human and socioeconomic development of Nigeria.
He said: “Currently, we have over 300 people directly working in the hotel, including foreigners,
in addition to thousands of other indirect jobs that we have created. There is no doubt that the number will go up as soon as possible.”
In the story of how the journey begun few years ago, Captain Okunbo said: “I bought the land in 1999 for N10 million and I started the construction in 2009 and commissioned it nine years after. It took me time because I needed on board people that shared same vision with me.
“This project represents what I stand for, which are my name and reputation. But the most important joy for me was that the multi-billion-naira project was completed successfully without
a dime being owed any bank or anybody elsewhere.”
He thus encouraged young people to draw inspiration from his story and dare things beyond them. He said his dream was to replicate such projects across cities of world, so that Nigeria could have a hospitality brand to compete with the likes of Transcorp Hilton and other global brands.
Speaker Dogara, in his remarks, stressed that such projects were required to boost the tourism industry and also contribute significantly to the economy of Nigeria.
Several other speakers were particularly happy that the investment will provide employment opportunity for hundreds of people directly and indirectly, thus contributing to better and better society.
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