By Laleye Dipo in Minna
The Niger State government has announced the revocation of the contracts of two tourism projects for non performance.
One of the contract was for the management of the Gurara Water Falls, which was entered into with an unnamed consortium, while the other was the agreement with Arewa Hotels for the management of Shiroro Hotels.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Sunday Daniels Kolo, who announced the revocation of the contracts while briefing newsmen in Minna Monday, explained that the two consortium had failed to live up to the expectation of the government.
He said the government had taken over the management of the Gurara Falls resulting in the recruitment of local divers to assist tourists.
Kolo accused the former management of Shiroro Hotels of “poor supervision”, saying that despite the government paying off a debt of N96 million, the management was still unable to keep the hotel afloat resulting in the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) sealing off the hotel for almost a year now.
Apart from this, he disclosed that the staff of the hotel have dragged its former owners to court, demanding the payment of three years salaries owed them.
The commissioner disclosed that the government has set up a management committee to advise it on how to reactivate the hotel and make it a revenue yielding venture, adding that: “Nigerlites should have patience and wait for the management committee to submit its report to government.”
On the abandoned Suleja five-star hotel, he disclosed that government was yet to wriggle out of the legal issues that had grounded the completion of the hotel for over 22 years, but insisted that: “We are still negotiating with those concerned.”
Kolo said government had identified 100 tourism sites across the state, which had been documented into compendium and map, and would be circulated to embassies and chambers of commerce for investors to know, indicate interest and develop any of the sites under the public private partnership (PPP) programme.
The commissioner said the administration has taken steps to protect the tombs of the colonial masters in Zungeru and Baro towns, but did not say how much had been generated from the large number of foreign and local tourists who, he said, had been visiting these sites.