Niger accuses hotel of N98m fraud

….Govt Accuse Managers of Siphoning Money

 

Niger state government has accused the management of Shiroro hotel of mismanaging N98 million given by the government to clear the debts of the hotel.

Just as the managers, identified as Arewa Hotels, were accused of using the hotel as a conduit pipe to enrich themselves.

Shiroro hotel has been shut down for more than five months by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) for non payment of tax while The Nation learnt that the Managers had not made any returns to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for over 22 years.

It was also learnt that the staff have taken the managers to court after three years of non-payment of salaries.

The Niger state Commissioner of Culture and Tourism, Daniel Sunday Kolo confirmed that the government has revoked the agreement between Shiroro hotel and Arewa hotels pointing that the management (Arewa Hotel) had been using Shiroro hotel as a conduit pipe to enrich themselves.

He noted that the government had the right to revoke the agreement because it is the single largest shareholder of the company.

“Niger state government has shares in Shiroro hotel, Shiroro hotel is run by the board of directors and is a limited liability company but as the single largest shareholder, the government had the opportunity to be the chairman of the board of Directors.

“The Board met and discovered that the managers were mismanaging the hotels and have mismanaged it for a long time.”

The Commissioner further disclosed that it gave Arewa Hotel N98 million which the managers alleged was the debt the government owned the hotel.

“When this government came on board, Arewa Hotel alleged the government was owning the hotel N96 million which was paid by the government and barely some months later Federal Inland Revenue Service sealed the hotel for non-payment of tax.

“We wonder what the N96 million was used for especially as staff are still being owned salaries. Unfortunately, no concrete reason was given by the managers on how the money was spent.”

The Commissioner further lamented that the Board of Directors could not liquidate the company because it was discovered that there are no records of the value of the shares of the hotel.

“We discovered that liquidation of the business will cause more problem than providing solution. We just discovered that there are no records of the value of the shares the hotel have.”

A visit to Shiroro hotel In Minna showed that although one of the gates was locked and sealed by FIRS, the second gate was opened while cars were parked outside the gate of the hotel.

Entering inside the hotel, the Reporter noted that the hotel still run some skeletal services, although no one was seated at the reception however a man who claimed to be in charge told the Reporter to return back whenever the need for the use of the hotel raises as he added that the fee is negotiable.

The Nation further learnt that the Managers of the hotel are based in Kaduna and it has been a long time since the staff heard from them.

Author: Justina Asishana, Minna

Source: http://thenationonlineng.net/niger-accuses-hotel-of-n98m-fraud/

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