Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG) has threatened to pull out of Nigeria, alleging breach of contract by Messrs Kunle Ogunba, the Skye Bank appointed receiver/manager of Intercontinental Hotel Lagos.
The IHG, which went into an international management agreement with Milan Industries Ltd, owners of Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos, in January 2012, had in a notice of termination of the agreement, dated January 3, 2018, expressed its displeasure with Messrs Kunle Ogunba who was appointed receiver/manager by Skye Bank following an interim court order.
According to the IHG, “We had, on various occasions, engaged the receiver/manager to ensure the proper management and operation of the hotel as part of IHG’s global hotel network.
“Despite multiple letters issued to the receiver/manager and Milan dated, inter alia, May 18, 2017; June 1, 2017; June 14, 2017; July 18, 2017; October 31, 2017; November 12, 2017 and December 15, 2017, requesting the cooperation of the receiver/manager with IHG in order to ensure that the hotel maintains its operating licence and to avoid a material breach of the agreement, a significant amount of fees outstanding in the sum of USD 3,142,324/ NGN995,223,818 owed to IHG remain unpaid and continue to accrue on a daily basis.”
In response, Messrs Kunle Ogunba dismissed the allegation, describing IHG’s threat as a blackmail trail.
It said:“The receiver/manager has remitted over N173 million to the Intercontinental Group as of date. Apart from the name ‘IHG’, the group does not undertake any expenditure on behalf of the Hotel as all fees are paid directly from the Hotel’s lean revenue.”
“The disbursed sum is therefore net of any deductions whatsoever. The IHG group has benefited more than any other stakeholder in the Hotel’s affairs if what has been paid to them since inception is contemplated. They have refused to disclosed the sums paid thus far to them since the commencement of the operations of the Hotel. The sum of N173million is what the receiver/manager has paid to them for a period of about six months?! The Hotel has been in operation for over three years?!
“The receiver/manager has consistently requested for a meeting to review the IHG charges to no avail.
“The hotel’s revenue cannot sustain the IHG’s charges of almost N40 million monthly without further borrowing. Further borrowing based on the peculiar circumstance of the Hotel is foolhardy as the Hotel is currently indebted to two banks in excess of aggregate of over $100 million.”