I want to first commend Mr Sam Onwuemeodo for his good work and the professional manner he has been managing the PR of this government. I have also noticed the ingenuity and machinations he has devised to cover truths just to ensure that his master gets a favourable judgment in the Court of public opinion.
I want to thank this government for accepting that the earlier contract for the renovation of Concord Hotel was a massive failure. The removal of posh tiles put during the Sam Mbakwe Regime and replacing them with China tiles etc are facts within the knowledge of Imolites and which the government has been denying all this while. Today in this government statement, you have agreed that that renovation of Concord Hotel was a fraud. May we therefore know the contractor, the amount spent on the failed renovation etc.
I want to also challenge the fact that you had to close the hotel before doing renovation. All over the world Hotels do upgrade, but they never close down business for upgrade. Hotel Business is highly profit oriented that no management would afford to shut down just because it wanted to upgrade. It is usually done in phases. The fact that Concord had to be shut down for another round of renovation by the same government is an admission that the hotel was not running in profit. Business is not about the structure. When an enterprise is not running in profit it would lack basic supply and cannot pay its bills. That is the state of Concord Hotel which your government now labour to cover.
I want to tell you that the Governor noticed that Concord Hotel renovation became bad when he visited there recently in May this year during the visit of the Nigerian Guild of Editors is a blatant lie. The dying of Concord had been in the news for nearly two years now and the Government has knowledge of it. Even recently, HotFM carried the news of power failure during a conference at the Concord Hotel. Every Imolite who passes the Concord Boulevard at night will note that the once light shining edifice that beams light in its environ has been a bastion of darkness in recent times. The Governor is aware that Concord Hotel which hosted the wedding of legendry Kanu Nwankwo has not been hosting weddings of late. The swimming pool which used to be a beehive on weekends had been shut down. My Governor must be lying if he says he only knew about this in May during the visit of the Nigerian Guild of Editors.
When this government took over Concord Hotel, he told a meeting of Imo stakeholders and elders at the Ahiajoku Convention Center that his privatization of Concord and other government business enterprise was generating high revenue to Imo State Government. It is therefore strange to note that the same government would not know when a business under its care was no longer operating in profit rather in loss. This is a lie that a government should not tell its citizens.
Now on the claim that the closure of Concord Hotel was to renovate it before the 2014 Annual Bar Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association NBA in Imo State, it shows that this government is more interested in publicity stunt than the welfare of the masses. If the closure is to impress the visiting team of Nigerian lawyers than the need to rescue Concord Hotel for the well being of Imo citizens, then this government have no good vision. Concord ought to work whether NBA was coming to Owerri or not.
My question to Mr Onwuemeodo is: if the renovation done by this administration in Concord Hotel in the past three years failed, what is the guarantee that a hurriedly done one between June-August when the NBA conference would take place will be better? This government must stop lying to its citizens. You cannot continue to lie and lie always.