In 2017 and 2018 Katsina State government budgeted billions of naira for the expansion, upgrading, and development of several government motels across the state. Apart from providing temporary accommodations for government officials and members of the public, the government also hoped that the motels would expand its sources of revenue.
However, an UDEME visit to these motels shows that they are a far cry from what they were intended to be as most of them are in ruins despite the huge funds allocated to them.
A visit to the motels in Dutsinma, Funtua and Malumfashi, immediately revealed that the government was not thinking much about revenue generation from the motels before deciding to build them. They are located in far populated areas of the town and pretty difficult to gain access to them.
Interestingly, the towns in which these motels are situated also host government guest houses that are exclusively used by government officials.
The white paint of the building has turned brown. Tall bushes overtake the motel and its entrance is littered with waste. The metal signboard of the motel is already falling apart from rust. The hotel looks deserted. By neglecting the hotel, the state government is clearly losing potentiate revenue to its coffers as the motel is located in the same town as the Federal University Dutsinma (FUDMA) and Isa Kaita College of Education and could be the preferred lodging facility for visitors to the two educational institutions.
In 2017, N60 million was allocated for the refurbishment of the motel and in 2018 another N200 million was budgeted for its upgrading and expansion. The upgrading of the motel was to be supervised by the Katsina State Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism.
When reached for comments, the manager of the motel, Aliyu Nuru said although the motel is set up by the government to meet up some certain needs of the people, it is practically abandoned it.
“This is a government motel no doubt on that, but we have been using our internal funds for maintenance and payment of bills. We pay our staff with the token we generate though it is very low, we know how to solve that. These are just figures in the budget, there are no visible government interventions in this motel,” he said.
Bello Jamilu, another employee of the hotel said the motel need urgent government intervention to stop it from degenerating into complete disrepair.
“We don’t have more customers like other private motels in the town. The government has forgotten this motel for too long. Many of our facilities need to be upgraded that is why we are experiencing low patronage,” he said.
Several residents of Funtua who spoke to this reporter were not even aware of the existence of the motel.
“Funtua motel or Mokera motel, I only know Mokara motel and it is not a government motel. Are you asking about Honourable Kadis guest house at GRA, which is the only guest house owned by the government in Funtua that I know?” Rufai Salisu asked.
Funtua motel is located at Duke village along Funtua to Sokoto express road, 6km away from Funtua town. In 2017 and 2018 the state government budgeted N400 million for the upgrading of the motel, however resident of the communities near the motel said no rehabilitation work has been done at the motel in recent times.
Musa Aliyu, a resident of the area, said the motel has been in its current state for several years without any renovation.
“No one has come here to work on upgrading this motel. No upgrading can be found here; such has never happened before,” he said.
An employee of the motel, who declined to say her name, told this reporter that the management of the motel needs to do more to make it attractive to customers.
“We don’t have many customers patronizing us. This motel is not looking attractive for more customers with the high patronage of the motel; the best upgrading to make this motel look attractive,” she said.
Similarly, N19.65 million was budgeted for the expansion and upgrading of the Malumfashi Motel in 2017 under the supervision of the Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism.
UDEME visited the motel and observed that it is in dire need of attention.
Employees of the motel were prevented by a management member of the motel from speaking to this reporter. However, who asked not to be named said the hotel lacked many basic facilities.
“The kinds of operation that we are operating doesn’t make this motel a standard one: “Sometimes for two weeks, we may not see any customer come to lodge here, maybe because of the poor recreational facilities,” he said.
Ministry keeps mum
Katsina State Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Tourism refused did not respond to questions sent about the budgetary allocation and releases for the upgrading of the motels.
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