Three (3) months after the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq led Kwara state government announced closure of the state owned Kwara Hotel and consequent redeployment of its workforce to the parent ministry (Business, Innovation and Technology), the staffers of the state owned hotel have remained at home, without any official communication seconding them to any ministry, contrary to announcement by the government, Fresh Insight can authoritatively report.
It could be recall that the state government via a statement by the state Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology (BIT) Ibrahim Akaje, had announced the shutdown of the popular Kwara Hotel, located along Ahmadu Bello Way, Ilorin, on 10th October, 2022.
Akaje said the shutdown was a forerunner to many interventions that will be done to bring the hotel back to life, adding that the staffers have been redeployed to the ministry.
Fresh Insight’s investigation however revealed that staff of the hotel, whom the government claimed had been redeployed to the ministry, have no official communication to that effect till date and had since October been sitting at home without job or salary.
Speaking to Fresh Insight under condition of anonymity, one of the affected staff of the hotel said “Life have not been the same for the over seventy (70) core staff members and other casual staff in the last 3 months, as we have been rendered jobless technically by Kwara state government.
“We have suffered from months of nonpayment of salaries before the government paid after we protested. Now, they promised to second us to the ministry after shutting down the hotel since October, but we are relocated to our homes instead.
The source added that “we didn’t get any official communication whatsoever, no salary. We don’t even know where we are placed at the moment. We plead with Gov. AbdulRazaq to stop rendering us idle, he shouldn’t render us jobless.
However, another staff who also pleaded anonymity said the committee set up on Kwara hotel repositioning is considering a report on issues of the staffers to decide what action would be taken on them.
Fresh Insight was also hinted that during a meeting with staff of the hotel, a top government functionary had asked the staff to sit at home and not worry about posting, but they insisted the government should fulfill its promise to them.
The source said “They threw a bait at us, asking us to sit at home and get paid. But we said we don’t want free money. That’s when we knew the government is not sincere. “How would you announce something and act contrary”, he queried.
Meanwhile, all attempts to get the reaction of the Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology (BIT), Ibrahim Akaje proved abortive.
When he was called yesterday (Wednesday) he pleaded the reporter comes to his office today (Thursday) for elaborate discussion.
However upon arrival at his office this morning(Thursday) he was said not to be on seat and calls placed across were unanswered as at the time of filing this report.