Lagos, NIGERIA – Millionaire ex-banker, Jim Ovia has concluded plans to bring the prestigious Marriott Hotels brand to Nigeria following the multi-billion naira agreement signed by Quantum Luxury Properties Limited (Quantum Capital), chaired by Ovia, and Marriott Hotels.
At the agreement signing ceremony held at the Civic Centre, Lagos on Thursday, the former Managing Director of Zenith Bank Plc, Ovia said the planned five-star hotel which will be located on the Ozumba Mbadiwe waterfront Victoria Island, Lagos will comprise 150 star rooms. The Ozumba Mbadiwe waterfront is already home to Radisson Blu and Oriental Hotel.
The Lagos Marriott Hotel is expected to be launched in 2014 with all the facilities and luxury associated with an international market leader like Marriott, Ovia said.
“We are proud to have the opportunity to partner with a world-class brand like Marriott,” Ovia said, adding that the Nigerian economy continues to be an attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), particularly with the boom in the telecoms industry and the attractiveness of the banking sector.
Giving insight into the plan, Ovia, who was recently ranked 19th, with a estimated worth of $825 million, on Forbes Africa’s 40 Richest list, said: “We identified a gap in the marketplace within the hospitality industry to support the burgeoning sectors. Nigeria is well known for its hospitality and Lagos as a mega-city, deserves a world class facility to complement its status.”
Also speaking at the ceremony is Alex Kyriakidis, - President, Africa & the Middle East of Marriott. He said the arrival of Marriot in Lagos marks a tremendous milestone in the hospitality business in Nigeria, adding that the hotel will be an iconic one that will, with superior services, render competition irrelevant.
Kyriakidis said that the “world class brand was happy to be associated with a man like Jim Ovia who has a track record of delivery on quality, citing Visafone and Zenith Bank, which Ovia successfully pioneered to enviable heights.”
Founded in 1971 with its headquarters in Bethesda, Maryland; Marriott International, Inc. is an American diversified hospitality company which began operations in Africa in 1982 with the Cairo Marriott Hotel, has a regional presence consisting of nine properties in three countries offering 3,941 rooms.
Africa’s second largest economy, Nigeria have recently witnessed a handful of prestigious hotel springing up this year. Some of these hotels include Radisson Blu, Four Points by Sheraton, Ibis and Legacy in Lagos, the commercial capital, and many groups have hotels under construction, including Accor, Hilton, IHG and Protea. Other groups who have signed deals with the hope of entering Nigeria’s robust market for the first time include Kempinski, Mantis and Wydham.