Since coming to office on May
29, 2015, Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau State has made it clear
that his administration would try to complete all relevant abandoned
projects in the state. The governor often spoke passionately about
tourism’s investment potentials and its multiplier effect for the state,
Lalong recently gave assurance that the long forgotten Roc
International Hotel is one of the projects penciled down for
Roc International Hotel, an abandoned
towering structure at Shere hills around Lamingo in Jos North Local
Government Area of Plateau State is yet to see better days. Standing
alone in front of a large lake but surrounded by captivating and
beautiful rock formations, Roc International Hotel is unarguably the
best that Jos is yet to have.
It was late Solomon Lar’s government
that awarded the contract of the hotel in 1981 to the Flemingdon Dev.
(Nig) Limited with the aim of building a five Star hotel with 318 rooms
on completion. However, 35 years down the line, with now 280 rooms
constructed, the hotel has seen 12 different governors attempting to
complete it without success.
The Plateau Investment and Property
Development Company (PIPC) stated on its website that the hotel, sitting
on 29.189 hectares of land would after completion have three
presidential suites, eight luxury suites, 15 executive suites, 292
luxury double bedrooms, executive office complex, grill room, main
dining room, two specialty restaurants, and two medium size conference
rooms with the capacity of 500 seats.
Other features of the hotel include one
large conference hall with capacity of 200 seats, bar, foyer, casino,
cinema, olympic size swimming pool, tennis court, four shops for
chemist, barber and others, a helicopter pad, horse stable, a mini golf
course, car park, gardens, organized road walk and water sports which
was why the hotel was built to face the lake.
A feasibility study said to have been
conducted in 1996 had showed that the hotel project is very viable and
profitable, as well as cardinal to the overall development of tourism
and investment in Plateau State as it would provide the five star
luxurious treatment sought by investors and tourists.
Our report gathered that the reason
often given as to why the hotel was never completed was as a result of
cash flow problems. The development history of the project has suffered
heavy blows and set-backs with available documents indicating that the
first contractor had moved out of the site in 1983 after developing 180
In 1987, the contract was re-awarded to
Messers B. Stalilini who developed additional 100 rooms bringing the
total to 280 rooms, but records show that the project had stopped after
the majority shareholder of the company, Chief Sunny Odogwu withdrew and
finances became a problem.
The last effort to complete the project
by the Plateau State government was in 1996 when it signed a joint
venture agreement with Gulfex International Nigeria Limited. The
agreement stated that the project would be completed at 2.3 billion
without disclosing the denominations either in Naira or Dollar, with an
Equity Base of 1.3 billion, and with the equity distribution in
percentages where foreign partners investor has 55%, the investor 30%,
while second partner (Govt. of Plateau) with 12% and employees with 3%.
The value of builders work on site was N95 million and was taken as
part of government equity share.
The document clarified that an agreement
on loan component has not been executed because of cash flow problems,
therefore, government carried out its summary of the expenditure on four
sub-headings including cost of construction, consultancy service, and
pre-operational expenses and travelling allowances. Under construction
it has paid Flemingdo Nig. Ltd, sum of 4,557,203.00, while Stabilini
(Phase I) sum of 3,837,158.00 and Stabilini (Phase II), the sum of
The documents also shows ECEP
Engineering and Planners, carried out design and supervision during the
construction of the hotel and the company was paid 4,452,266.00as
reimbursable. The pre-operational expenses covers from 1978-1993 and
2,134,321.00was spent on administration, registration, stamp duty and
Now 35 years later, Governor Lalong is
geared to take up the project. The governor who has made several trips
overseas as part of efforts to attract investors to Plateau’s tourism
destination recently made it clear that the Pandam Wild Life Park, the
Roc International Hotel and the Wase rock were some of the areas given
as proposal to Chinese investors.
There is no record of any attempt to
complete the hotel project since the return to democracy in 1999.
However, Governor Lalong is committed to now complete a journey which
started 35 years ago. His appeal to the people of the state is to live
in peace, stating that peace was the cardinal condition that may warrant
any investor’s interest.