N28bn hotel project: Edo Govt blames APC for mismanaging economy


Barely 24 hours after the leadership of the Edo State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, accused the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led government of allegedly squandering over N28 billion on a hotel project, the state government attributed the variation of the contract sum to the APC-led Federal Government’s induced inflation.

Saga Gist recalls that the Edo State chairman of APC, Emperor Jarret Tenebe, at a press conference on Saturday accused Governor Obaseki’s administration of mismanaging the state’s resources on projects like the Radisson while its ownership status and those of other projects like Edo Modular refinery are allegedly shrouded in secrecy.

Tenebe had called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to probe Governor Obaseki, the PDP governorship candidate, Asue Ighodalo, and his running mate, Osarodion Ogie.

Reacting to the APC allegations on Sunday in a statement titled “Edo 2024: Clear Incompetence, Ignorance on Contemporary Governance Forcing APC to Deploy Diversionary Campaign Tactics,” the state government did not, however, deny the amount quoted by the main opposition party for the contract awarded for the reconstruction of the hotel.

The statement, signed by Crusoe Osagie, Special Adviser to the Edo State Governor on Media Projects, and made available to newsmen in Benin City, said a lot of projects were subjected to contract variations due to the alleged poor management of the economy and the declining value of the naira against other world currencies.

According to him: “They make light of the investment in Radisson Hotel, a key addition to the state’s hospitality landscape. Edo today boasts only one international hospitality chain, the Protea brand managed by Marriot, with Radisson being the second. Much as there are a number of quality local brands, the potential benefits of increasing the number of international brands bode well for the state’s nascent tourism sector.

“The state has lost the hosting rights to a lot of international events on account of the limited presence of international brands. The argument that the cost of the hotel has increased from the initial outlay is quite pathetic because that is on the APC-controlled Federal Government.

“As a result of their poor management of the economy and the declining value of the naira against other world currencies, a lot of projects have had to be subjected to contract variations.

“Today, the development is costing more to complete because the fundamentals have changed and there is a need to reassess financing. The APC would appreciate this if they were better schooled and had a basic understanding of macroeconomic dynamics.”

Osagie also spoke on allegations made against the establishment and construction of projects like the e-governance Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, Edo Modular Refinery and the EFCC investigation on the alleged mismanagement of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, intervention in agriculture. He advised APC to speak to issues rather than shadow-boxing.

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