Six years after its inauguration, the Four Point by Sheraton Hotels, located at Ikot Ekpene, Akwa Ibom State, would commence operations before the end of 2021, the management has said.
The construction of the expansive 12-floor edifice with 146 rooms, is said to have started in 2013 by the then governor, Godswill Akpabio and was commissioned in an elaborate ceremony by him shortly before his exit in 2015.
But the hotel has come under heavy criticism by indigenes and residents of the state as a failed project because it was yet to commence operations about six years after it was inaugurated.
Officials of the state government said the hotel was not technically completed before commissioning as most of its facilities failed to meet the standard and specifications of the hotel managers, Starwood Group, whose franchise was later taken over by Marriott.
Director of Projects in the state Ministry of Special Duties, Engr Ephraim Udosen told newsmen who visited the hotel to ascertain the progress and schedule of work on Tuesday that, the current administration has made additions and modifications in over 50 key facilities and areas.
He explained that the upgrade was to meet the standards of the hotel managers, who have also opened their recruitment portal to demonstrate their readiness to commence operations this year.
“Other things added in the hotel include installation of bomb blast films in all entrance glasses, replacement of Failed Mineral Surface Membrane (FELT) to water proof the concrete roof, deck gutters of the main hotel roof floor and mechanical floor and provision of additional PH correction dosing station for further purification of domestic water supply to the hotel.
“We also installed Automatic Fire Suppression System (FM200), 20KVA inverter system and additional 12,000 BTU/Hr (3.5kw) – split wall type AC system in the IT room and procured active switches/accessories for the IP close circuit cameras to complete the installation of the CCTV system of the hotel.
“To tell you how committed Governor Udom Emmanuel is to this project, he ensured that the maintainance contract was reawarded to the original contractors to ensure continuity”.