Chairman of Interim Board of Ikeja Hotel Plc, Anthony Idigbe, has announced that the auditors investigating the financial operations of the hotel have submitted their reports.
Idigbe disclosed that the forensic auditors have submitted their reports seven months after the previous board was dissolved by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Why Ikeja Hotel is being probed: The investigation into the financial activities of Ikeja Hotel was demanded by the capital market regulator. SEC had instructed the interim board to initiate a probe due to allegations of unauthorized sale of shares and diversion of proceeds from the sale of shares, amongst others.
What you need to know: The probe report is being reviewed by the board and the regulatory body of the capital market, according to Idigbe, who spoke with stakeholders at the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE). This means the report is at the final stage of vetting and new development is expected by the first quarter of 2020.
Speaking on the report of the probe and the progress already made, Idigbe said, “We are happy that by the first quarter of next year, substantial progress would have been made in the decision process. SEC is going through to ensure that rights of fair hearing are not breached. The process is so important. We are trying to get a solution that would be sustainable.”
What new board has been doing: Since the interim board took over the management of Ikeja Hotel, Idigbe said various renovation had been ongoing to position the hotel for revenue growth. He said facility upgrade had resulted to the renovation of 97 rooms out of its 500 rooms.
“We have about 266 rooms to put back at the market out of which we are doing 97 rooms right now with internally generated revenue,” Idigbe said.
The renovated rooms, which will be opened to the public in the first quarter of 2020, is expected to increase the company’s market share and profitability in its operating states. Idigbe also stated that the interim board would leave the company once the operation of Ikeja hotel had been revamped to compete better.
“I want to assure you that some of us will like to exit as quickly as possible and as soon as necessary. We continue to see it as a national service to perform this role. We are very proud of the work we have done so far but be assured that we will not stay a minute longer than necessary,” Idigbe said.