The Save The Nation Movement (STNM) has called for immediate and thorough investigations of the running of the Akwa Ibom Icon Hotel.
The group said it was in possession of various documents, suggesting an alleged financial impropriety by Mr. Fred Maina, who is the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the hotel.
Rising from its meeting in Abuja on Thursday evening, the STNM National Secretary, Comrade Stevens Chilaka, said in a statement that the Board of Directors of the Ibom Icon Hotel must carry out its responsibility of sanitizing the management and its operations or have anti-corruption agencies wade in.
The statement read; “As concerned group of well-meaning Nigerians, who are dedicated to ensuring transparency in the conduct of affairs of businesses, whether public or private, and who have never shied away from raising concerns on issues we feel require further interrogations, we are concerned and bothered by the feelers we are getting from the Ibom Icon Hotel concerning the trust deficit between the owners of the Hotel, and the Management, led by Mr Fred Maina.
“We have been reliably informed that ever since the Management Service Agreement (MSA) was signed between the Hotel owners and the group led by a Kenyan National, Frederick Maina, there have been blatant cases of financial improprieties, maltreatment of Akwaibomites in the employ of the hotel, lack of adherence to the terms of the agreement and other serious financial improprieties.
“For instance, sometime last year, Mr. Marina, travelled to Kigali, Rwanda and was said to have hosted six Kenyan government officials and charged the bill to the hotel. The hosting of these officials had nothing to do with the trip he had undertaken.This unauthorized trip to Rwanda was about a business proposal the management already evaluated and concluded as having no value to the Hotel.
“Also, there was a purchase of over $23,000 from an unlicensed operator, who ended up scamming the hotel.
“Other infractions are indiscriminate use of the hotel by unauthorized guests, which cost the Hotel revenue loss of over N50 million and plan to raise over N5 billion for the Hotel’s renovation already estimated to cost less than N3 billion.
“The Manager was also said to not receive approvals of the Owner on Reimbursable Expenses.
“All these and many others are what are well documented and the onus is on the Board to carry out proper investigations with a view to bringing those found to have defrauded the hotel and the people of Akwa Ibom State to book.
“We hereby, request that because of these weighty allegations and obvious cases of fraud that has been established, that an Independent External Auditor should immediately be appointed to look into the books of the Hotel.
“Ibom Icon Hotel is a pride of Akwa Ibom State in particular and Nigeria as a whole, we demand that the hotel be run with utmost transparency on the part of the Managers and the interest of the people of Akwa Ibom State.”