Desmond Mgboh, Kano
Despite strong opposition, the Kano State Executive Council has handed over the management of the famous state-owned Daula Hotel Limited to a private investor, Lambash Nigeria Limited.
In response to an inquiry by Daily Sun, Kano State Commissioner for Commerce Barrister Ibrahim Mukhtar confirmed the deal, saying it was approved by the council a week earlier, adding that the firm, as part of the deal, will convert the vast Daula Hotel property to a set of high brow apartments, a shopping mall and a top-flight hotel.
Barrister Mukhtar said that the lease was made on the basis of Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis, adding that after a number of years, as agreed in the contract, the entire investment would be handed back to the state government.
He also said that within this period of the lease, the State Government would be entitled to financial returns from the investment, recalling that the intention is to make the hotel once again beneficial to the public by making it a viable source of government revenue.
He stressed that the individuals who had gone to court to contest the move were engaged in a mere academic exercise, adding that the wishes of the people of the state as represented by the decision of the State Executive Council cannot be subverted.
He said that the objection by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU), Kano State University of Science and Technology Wudil chapter over the deal did not hold as Daula Hotel Limited, Kano and the University are both properties of the state government and the government was at liberty to allocate them in the way that they would best serve the public.
The move to lease out Daula Hotel to a private interest has been a subject of major controversy in the State for the past few months.
Only recently, the Kano State governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 Elections, Alhaji Abba Kabir Yusuf, had taken the State Government and four others before Justice Nura Sagir of the Kano High Court over the move to lease out a number of public properties in the State.
The plaintiff, through his counsel, Bashir Yusuf Mohammed, had alleged that the public property, known as Hospitality and Tourism Institute, situated at the former Daula Hotel, Kano, alongside other state-owned properties, was being diverted for the purpose of allocating them to private individuals and interests.