Hotels, eateries and other businesses in Abuja are experiencing a boom as the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) holds its convention to pick a presidential candidate.
Eagle Square, venue of the convention located at the Federal Secretariat witnessed increased activities in the last couple of days as 2,340 delegates of the ruling party converge on the nation’s capital.
A survey by THISDAY yesterday revealed that eateries inside the public car park at the Federal Secretariat, adjacent the venue of the convention were swarming with increased patronage.
Before now, users of the car park were usually hailed by waiters in the eateries to come and patronise them, but his was not the case when THISDAY visited.
The Calabar Kitchen and other brands of eateries were seen working frantically to attend to customers, some of whom were standing due to shortage of seats.
Some grocery shops and those selling household items were seen doing brisk businesses.
Popular restaurants in the capital city like Jevinik, Secret Garden on Ahmadu Bello Way; Cantina Restaurant,
355 Steakhouse & Lounge, among others, were not left out of the increased patronage
A visit to some hotels, especially those around Maitama, Asokoro, and Garki, indicated that they were not only fully booked, but saw increased charges.
Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Summerseat, Lincon Luxury and Fraser Suites were some of the hotels in the Central Area visited by THISDAY.
Although officials of the hotels said they were too busy to speak, some of their staff at the front desk who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said their patronage was at full capacity
Some of them, according to investigations, increased charges from N107,000 to N243,000 per room per night.
Others that used to charge N70,000 for a room now ask for N120,000, while those with regular room rates at N50,000 now go for N100,000.
However, some hotels in the Jabi axis which were surveyed were not fully booked while others that were left with no more space turned back customers.
Sandralia Hotel along Solomon Lar Way Jabi was fully booked and had to turn back some APC delegates who approached them for accommodation.
The House Keeping Manager at the hotel, Prince Ugochukwu told THISDAY that some APC delegates had initially made reservations with the hotel before the party shifted its convention by one week.
Ugochukwu who said he was speaking on behalf of the Operations Manager of the hotel, Eddy Kome, said when the delegates came back, the rooms had been fully booked.
He disclosed that the Sierra Leonean national team, the Leone Stars which had made reservations about two weeks ago were lodging in the hotel.
The Leone Stars are billed to engage the Nigerian national team, the Super Eagles for the African Nations Cup qualifier at the Moshood Abional National Stadium, Abuja weekend.
Some of the Sierra Leonean players and officials were seen relaxing at the hotel lobby.
A visit to Chida Hotel Jabi did not yield any positive result, but at 3JHs Hotel, Jabi, the General Manager, Ibrahim Abubakar said although the hotel still had some rooms to accommodate some APC delegates who indicated interest earlier, they did not show up.
However, he said the occupancy rate was between 60 and 70 per cent.
Abubakar stated that sometimes, the occupancy rate peaks at 100 per cent, adding that the hospitality industry had overcome the COVID-19 setback.
Culled from THISDAY