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Published On: Thu, Jun 18th, 2015

NANET Group surges despite industry pressure

BY OREDOLA ADEOLA |

Having managed over fifty hospitality business outlets in fifteen states for both government and private sector, NANET Group, a leading Nigerian hospitality management firm has demonstrated the capacity of a local brand to develop a hotel into a world class standard rivaling industry bigwigs like Marriot Group, Starwood and the Hilton group.
The management firm has been working with hotel investors on lease and management agreement basis since forty-five years. Its management services include food and beverage, accommodation, conferencing solutions, recreation and entertainment services.
Founded in 1970, in Kaduna, has been involved in branding and intervention of several hospitality facilities in the country.  It has helped in documentation, supervision of project building and execution, provision of fund and logistics to improve the standard of every hotel under its management.
nanetApparently, the firm has decided to crest its name on brand being managed by it after many years of carving industry niche.  In an interview with Hallmark, Mr. Ini Akpabio, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of the management firm, disclosed that before the end of the year, NANET would adjust some of its contractual requisite, in such a manner as to allow its name on its brands.
Nanet Hotels is currently managing the following hotels, Nanet suites Abuja, Nanet Emirates hotel, Abuja, Command Guest House, Lagos, NAF Club, Kaduna, and Salt Spring Resort, Abakaliki. It has also managed and institutionalized Zaranda Hotel, Bauchi, Nanet Restaurant and Meatpie, Kaduna, Budget 5 Hotel, Kaduna,  Budget Master Hotel, Kaduna, Nanet Excel Hotel, Warri to mention but a few.
Some of the properties have been institutionalized as a major luxury outfits within the country’s hotel value chains, offering intercontinental luxury service with industry trained professionals in all its various locations across Nigeria.
Highlighting how the firm has been able to survive despite the country’s harsh economic environment, Akpabio revealed that the few factors that have made NANET Brand strong are discipline, training and innovation through application of technology in service delivery.
Over many years despite the political climate we have developed and transform most of our facilities into a global brand. We are aware that a good business will keep flying if the officials are professionals and dedicated to industry dynamics. As a good hospitality firm with proven track record, we have continued to offer better rooms and exception services for the satisfaction of all our customers.
According to him, the company has demonstrated much commitment in the area of improving the capacity of its staff through regular training and retraining. He added that only last year, about six General Managers were sent to Dubai for a professional course, while another four directors went to England for training in the hospitality industry.
He further noted that in all, the company has invested millions of Naira to improve the facilities of some of its properties. He noted that the effort is aimed at ensuring its businesses are up to date with the best practices.
Akpabio added that NANET brand has become a strong brand in the country through world-class technological facilities. He said, ‘‘Technology places a very important role in the service delivery in the hospitality industry.  The internet system in Nigeria has also helped to improve service delivery in all our various facilities. Although there are quite some few challenges, but we are hopeful that the government will focus more in this area.  This is because Nigeria is still having issue with internet connectivity as other developed nations have left. ‘’
‘‘In NANET we created free and easy to connect WIFI facility for our customers. We have also introduced technology into security with investment in the installation of Close Circuit Camera in all strategic locations across all the facilities. Our security officials have been properly trained in the area of using some of the new hi-tech technologies, to ensure that our guest safety is not compromised.
He explained that technology has also improved the company’s services over the years. According to him, ‘‘our most of our customers now use IPAD as menu to order for foods and drink. We have also deployed IT facilities in production department to save cost and ensure efficiency.
‘‘We have made attempt to get more facilities but the epileptic state of electricity in the country has become a challenge in getting some of these sensitive facilities into the country.  Power has become an albatross to the operators in the country.  Our kitchens are installed with hi-tech system in the kitchen. We recently attended the National Restaurant Association show in Chicago, to explore new facilities and equipment to get the update of facilities.
‘‘Our present focus is on how to ease online bookings by some of our customers across the world. Like the Aviation industry, we would like the banking sector develop a system that would accommodate us into the central reservation system. This would ease some of the challenges of making online payment for room reservations, where booking and payment can be done anywhere.
‘‘Our businesses over the past three years in volatile states in country have been crippled due to the insurgent in the Northern part of the country. NANET has lost billions of Naira due to Boko Haram attack in these areas. We have been forced to shut down our hotels in Maiduguri Adamawa, Kaduna, Bauchi and Kano. The new government must intensify efforts to reduce the impact on investors. No matter how attractive the country is, if the insurgency persists no foreigner will be pleased to come into the country.
He however lauded the efforts demonstrated by President Buhari to tackling the issue of insecurity. He however charged him to continue on a very high tempo in order to ensure that Nigeria environment is secured. He said, ‘‘It will help us in the tourism sector the crisis has affected the entirety of the country has no region is left out. The impact has affected international image. Foreigners are quick to judge the insurgency in the Northern part of the country as the affecting all Nigerians including people in peaceful areas.
‘’Our facilities in Abuja, has recorded reduction in patronage of officials of international organization who run seminars and workshops. Some of these expiates have been diverted to Ghana and other West Africa countries. ‘’ he noted
We have also improved our services through proper inspections and monitoring. We have special budget that caters for logistics and repairs. We have a team of dedicated staff who work round the close to ensure that industry standard is maintained in all our facilities across the country. We have a quality control unit that monitors what we offer to our clients. This effort has helped us sustain the industry credibility.
He however urged Nigerians to patronize hotels that offer quality services. According to him, a lot of Nigerians accept low standard hotel offers. He noted that Nigerians sometime have preference for below the rank hotels that offers poor services due to their exposure and cultural orientations.

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