Official opening of BON Hotels Grand Pela in Abuja
The Chairman, Chief Executive Officer of Bon Hotels Grand Pela and Suites Abuja, Mr. Peter Nwakeze, in his opening speech emphasised the patriotic and entrepreneurial drives he had in embarking on business of hospitality and choice of location, Abuja, Nigeria after sojourn to places like Japan, Gabon, Angola etc. not minding the present economic gridlock across the country.
He reassured no matter epidemic socio-economic paralytic situation globally, that Nigeria continues to remain the best place for investments guaranteed, to yield maximum dividends.
According to him, local and international investors should take a cue from the multi billion investment that has been made by his company in the tourism and hospitality sectors, thereby adding value to the economy, through initiatives that can lead to job creation, economic diversification and the empowerment of Nigerians.
Speaking during the launch /opening of Bon Hotels Grand Pela and Suites in Abuja on Friday, Nwakeze said the idea of building the hotel was born out of his desire to contribute to the structural and social development of the fast-growing capital city of Nigeria, Abuja, and, to provide employment to the teeming unemployed youths roaming the nation’s streets every day.
The Bon Hotel Grand Pela boss said his business sojourn which has taken him to various places in the world, including to countries like Japan, Gabon, Angola, amongst others, raised his passion to provide hospitality and made understand that a contribution to hospitality industry is indeed a service to humanity.
“I know there are many existing hotels in Abuja, but I decided to make a paradigm shift by adding new features in the hotel which represents our core values of excellence and professionalism in order to change the old perception of Abuja hotels by tourists and visitors. These new features will be observed as you inspect our facilities and rooms. We want to carve a niche in the hospitality business that will leave a lasting experience in our customers”, he explained.
Nwakeze noted that the mission statement which is to offer a unique and exceptional services that will promote Grand Pela Hotel and Suites into an inspiring and most sort after brand synonymous with creativity and excellence is apt, because it represents what his personal values and what those of the hotel are.
According to him, since the hotel business is a dynamic and proactive one, suggestions on how to improve services will not only be welcomed, but also form an integral part of the company’s policies.
” I want to emphasize at this point that we are not averse to constructive criticisms and suggestions because they will help in our future upgrading of the hotel as the hotel business is a dynamic one”, he said.
Nwakeze said the group has concluded arrangements to open more Grand Pela Hotels in all the six geo political zones in the country, adding in due course, that other west African countries will become part of the unmatched experience that Grand Pela provides its clients.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Bon Hotels, Mr. Guy Stehlik, said the group has seen phenomenal growth since its inception in 2012 with hotels across Africa including South Africa, Nigeria, Namibia, Ethiopia and Uganda, and is primed for significant expansion throughout the continent.
According to him, Bon Hotels offers expertise of an international standard in their approach to hotel management, property openings, new builds or the upgrade of existing properties, with the specific needs of hotel owners front of mind. BON Hotels, he added, has been embraced for its fresh perspective in the African hospitality sector.
In the same vein, Industry Stalwart and Expert on African hospitality industry, Mr. Bernard Cassar, who is also a Director of BON Hotels International West Africa, said with many larger groups exiting their business interests in Nigeria, that Bon Hotels believe now is the time to support the country that has given it decades of success.
He said the group will continue to add value to the local hospitality industry, guests, staff, suppliers and the communities in which they serve, adding with nine hotels across five cities in Nigeria, and the potential of 36 states with their own cities and towns, that Nigeria has endless opportunities.
Speaking in the same vein,
Chairman of Africa Alliance Group, Mr. Gregory Ozegbe , who is engaged in a joint venture agreement with BON Hotels on new projects, said with the support of shareholders and strategic partners, that the group is well positioned across the world to embark on the most ambitious expansion in the history of any country in Africa, which is to build first class 4 and 5 star international standard hotels in thirty-seven locations in Nigeria, and in at least thirty locations in countries in Africa over the next 10 years.
“Over the past year, BON Hotels has undertaken an aggressive rebranding and refurbishment campaign of their hotels in Nigeria, with creative input from Delta Design Studio, a specialist hospitality interior design and procurement company. The hotels will be positioned as international 4-star, boutique-style, full-service hotels, at affordable prices, offering personal, friendly and efficient service that is synonymous with BON Hotels’ operating standards”, he affirmed.
In an exquisite interview with National Enquirer Reporter- Pamela James:
In this time of recession, people are trying to lay out some worker and you put up these masterpiece and absorbing workers. How has Nigeria unfavourable environment and factors affecting been the business?
PE: When we talk about Nigeria having enabling environment for hospitality business is not all that bad. I have visited so many countries far worse than what we are experiencing now, so I cannot call it Nigeria factor because it something we can build on and come out of it.
NE: What are does things, you thik Government can do to encourage industries and economic growth?
PE: Government need to understand, investors in Nigeria, like my self, I made my money outside Nigeria. I have businesses in some African countries and came down here to invest it. So I can say, Nigeria has an enable environment.
NE: Any support or interest from the government on what your doing here, so far?
PE: If you witnessed what happened here yesterday, Many representatives from Agencies, Government parastals, Ministers, Ambassadors, Senators even Governor of my state, were here, which shows that government is really interested in what we are doing here, and I believe if they are not interested, they wouldn’t have been here, in first place.
NE: Don’t you think opening this kind of hotel in this time of economic recession, the business will be affected in many ways?
Like I mentioned earlier, I am an investor in Nigeria. Being an investor in Nigeria is already a good step in right direction, by so doing, I believe we are already doing our best in creating an employment. In no distance time, Nigeria will come out of this recession. Sometimes when people talk of change, they seem not to understand the meaning of the word “change”, like I used to advice some of my friends. The government is We, you and I. Change starts with us because immediately, we change our attitudes, the system will automatically follows suit, things will change and get better. Like I mentioned earlier, we are trying our best. We at BON Hotels Grand Pela already, have created enable environment itself by creating employment. I want to tell you, We have done our part.
NE: What is the size of workers, one can say, BON Hotel Grand Pela has employed?
PE: If I may say, the way thing s are going now, We have started with Eighty workers presently, and I can assure you, but first let’s give Thanks to Almighty God, we can not do it by ourselves but by His grace. The way we are moving now. However, before it was known by the name “Grand Pela Hotel, but just to make sure we get it right. In 2 to 3 years from now, we will be able to have two more hotels by building more hotels, creating more employment.
NE: How have you been able to put necessary apparatus to ensure security of lives and property of prospective guests and friends coming here to lodge or visit?
NB: I am happy, you are all here today, by physically looking at our compound you can see security measures are all in place. We have our own “guys” all over the place, we have our own police, we have our own internal security personnels. Where we quite differs from any other hotels is that here is just a stone-throw from American International school. You know, whenever you mentioned “America”, first thing you talk about is security in place. As far as the BON Hotels Grand Pela is concerned, security is hundred percent, ask around.
NE: From legislative angle, how do you think they can support the industry in terms of policy formulations for employment and tourism boost in Nigeria?
PE; When you talk about legislators, one had in mind those in National assemby, making favourable laws that ensure investments in Nigeria are well protected. They need to look into the area of supporting investment in tourism. So many countries we visited, many earn their resources from tourism as people visits their country. I believe if our government be able to invest more in hospitality industry, it will get to a time when do not have to talk about oil and whatever because if you have enable environment hospitality industry, especially when we all know, so many people wants to get into our country, Nigeria is a country when you talk of population is of massive size to our advantage. They want to come and see Nigeria they have been hearing about. Security is our No: 1 issue. If someone that want to travel, has to be sure of his or her security. They way they can support hospitality industry or support people to invest in this industry, is by giving pioneer incentives like “giving one a long time to operate before starting to pay tax. That will be a good support.
NE: Can you give the capital estimate of this your investment?
PE: The investment is well over billion Naira and is good.
I have many busineses in other countries, like we( I am from Anambra state) rightly used to say, ” There is no place like home, no matter, many years you stay outside your country, it can never be like home”. Government need to do something to support us because moving such a huge money from all your businesses to come home and invest in Nigeria. Is already a sign of “no place like home.”
NE: Being a 4 star hotel. How have you been able to ensure that it meets both the world standard and world practice in terms infrastructures and amenities put in place?
PE: A good question. If you listen to my speech today, I categorically made it clear that all is not about building hotel but getting it to standard. So many people came to view it, to rate if is either 3 or 4 star hotels but you know whenever a word “Star” is mentioned, it has to do with furnishing,amenities, design, location, services and so many others. Is not about how big a hotel is, but about what and what you put in place. I believe your among those who have been going round inspecting and studying our facilities to see what we have. You can agree with me, is no doubt 4- star hotel.