The potency of tourism as an essential economic enhancer and prodigious alternative to oil as revenue source for the nation was exhaustively extolled at the formal opening of Aenon Suites in Osogbo, Osun State on Saturday, 19 November, 2016.
The formal opening ceremony of the luxurious hospitality dispenser in Osogbo was not just for the pomp and ceremony, but was beautifully packaged as the event exposed the invited guests to the culinary and hospitality expertise of the hotel as well as enriched their knowledge with the import of tourism and its economic advantages to the nation.
The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who was the special guest of the day, but could not be there due to an emergency party assignment despatched Alhaji Olalekan Adeoti, Secretary to State Government to represent him. Honourable Speaker of Osun State House of Assembly, Rt Honourable Najeem Salam, former Governor of Osun State and member of the Senate, Senator Isiaka Adetunji Adeleke who was represented by Otunba Olumide Lawal, Mr Femi Adefila, CEO, FM Radio, former Secretary to Osun State government, Alhaji Fatai Akinbade, Director Bureau of Public Communication of the state of Osun, Semiu Okanlawon, Mrs Bola Akintonde, a senior officer at the CBN, Professor Wale Oladipo, Professor Alabi were among other eminent personalities that graced the occasion.
The Oluwo of Iwo, His imperial Royalty, Oba Abdul Rasheed Adewale Akanbi led a powerful delegation of other traditional obas and Chief from Iwo kingdom, the Olobu of Ilobu and another delegation of the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty , Oba Adeyeye Enitan Babatunde Ogunwusi, Ojaja II to make the opening a glorious and befitting one.
Revealing the driving force for the day’s event, Mr Adedapo Ademola exposed that the hospitality outfit was borne out of necessity to plant a world class and intercontinental hotel where the service, facilities, standards, ethics and operational brand will not only be equal to none in Nigeria, but of a global excellence.”
In his welcome speech he said “It is my desire to ensure that visitors and travellers to Osogbo, Osun State have a place to consummate their hospitality dream no matter the degree of their taste and of luxurious expectation.”
He revealed two embarrassing united situations of when he came back from the States and could not find a standard hotel of intercontinental standard in Osogbo and also, when some British Council team visited the state on official assignment and had to travel back to Ibadan late in the night under the cover of security when they could not get a befitting hotel to stay and “I decided that enough is enough. Thus the determination to plant this hotel and which God allowed us to do within two years.”
Mr Ademola pointed out the unique facilities in the hotel which include the installation of CCTV on the door of each room for guests to scrutinize and control visitors, a well equipped sauna bath spa and a remote notification for hotel attendants.
The governor of the state, Ogbeni Aregbesola who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Adeoti commended the management of the hotel for the bold initiatives and harped on the need for maintenance, payment of tax and other dues as well as retaining its leading position in the hospitality sector in the state through quality services as well as good customer relations.
“We are happy that good brands in the hospitality sector are now springing up in the state of Osun and this cannot be disconnected from the fact that the Ogbeni Aregbesola-led Administration has created a conducive atmosphere with good infrastructural facilities that enhance business in all forms. We have also tapped into the development and promotion of culture and tourism so as to create market and opportunities for hotels and others in the hospitality sector to thrive.”
The Speaker of the Osun State House of Assembly, Honourable Salam could not also hide his excitement about the edifice and the aesthetic of the hotel, just as he called on the management to maintain the structure, standard and the services. “The State of Osun deserve quality investment like this in the hospitality sector like AENON SUITES and others.
Also, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba AdulRasheed Adewale Akanbi, in his speech said he was happy that such development is coming into the state from an illustrious son of Iwo during his lifetime, “I have been to the Royal suites and I can tell you everything about it speaks royalty, everything about this hotel is of quality and international standard and I am recommending it to everybody coming to Osogbo for one thing or the other.
“I would have preferred this hotel is situated in Iwoland, but I know Osogbo is better, I am sure the next one you are going to build will be in Iwo,” said the Emperor of Iwo Kingdom.
Senator Isiaka Adeleke who was represented by Otunba Lawal said “ I am personally challenged by the aesthetic and breath taking edifice christened AENON SUITES, the idea behind the conception construction and completion of AENON SUITES is indeed worthy of every steps taken all the way. The investment is in the right direction and worthy of emulation by all patriotic men and women instead of diverting our hard earned foreign exchange to already developed economies of the world, in form of capital flight, this singular effort by the promoters of AENON Suites will go a long way to improve the socio-economic fortunes of its immediate catchment area and by extension the overall progress of Osun State, through provision of employment opportunities for tens of graduates, among other helping hands.
“Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, AENON Suites has come to stay and by the grace of God will outlive its proprietors, permit me to assert and very strongly that one major problem with Nigeria businesses is maintenance culture, this is one aspect of business rudiments that the management of AENON Suites should look critically into and provide innovative solution. We have no other people to develop our dear Osun State except ourselves and our friends from other lands, who think of us.”
He concluded his speech with an advice to the staff of the hotels to make honesty and integrity their watchword “Let me advise all those who are going to work in AENON Suites to make honesty and integrity their watchwords, they should count themselves lucky to be part of this fantastic venture particularly when there were others equally or better qualified applicants that sought after working at AENON Suites. All eyes are on them to give first class services from their various cadres to esteemed customers of this hotel, they have no excuse to fail themselves and proprietor of AENON SUITES.”
Also Mrs Bola Akintonde, a senior staff of Central Bank of Nigeria who represented the CBN Controller at the event said “Though I have not slept in the rooms when we came for inspection from CBN, we concluded that AENON Suites have all it takes to compete with most of the hotels in London, America and other parts of the world, the rooms are cosy and well furnished with modern facilities and the are excellent.”
In his closing remarks, Alhaji Semiu Okanlawon, said “This hotel is one of the huge investments which was attracted to the state by the conducive economic atmosphere, infrastructural build up and the transformation of the state by Ogbeni Aregbesola led administration. The quality is in tandem with what we are doing in Osun State, AENON SUITES value more that cost and the facilities are world class which can conveniently compete with other international brands anywhere in the world. “Capturing the totality of the splendour of the hotel, the Master of Ceremony, Obama, after a tour of the facilities remarked “I am sure this hotel is a replica of heaven on earth. Everything here is not only cosy, classic, classy and classical but awesome. Aenon Suites is the heaven on Earth in South West. I will prefer to pass here to heaven.”