Class Act! Billionaire businessman, Sam Iwuajoku, builds first-ever airport hotel, Hilton Lagos Airport…
Very few businessmen can knead the tripartite traits of genius, modesty and character into that moral and humane centaur that remains unattainable to generations of tycoons and billionaires like Sam Iwuajoku. The billionaire businessman achieves this with unequalled grace and élan.
The perfect symbol of business excellence, Iwuajoku, whose first billions were from the importation of rice and steel rods, has made good his words that soon, the first-ever hotel around the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, would become a reality.
Interestingly, for the past decade or more, Chief Harry Akande, a businessman and former presidential aspirant, has been involved in a legal tussle with aviation authorities over his plans to construct an ultra-modern hotel complex at the international airport. Iwuajoku has succeeded where Akande failed. It is in his DNA to tread where angels dread. But he is no fool. He is just audacious and ambitious and patriotic.
Sometime last year, in Rwanda, he signed a deal to build the Hilton Lagos Airport, thus joining Hilton’s growing African portfolio of more than 80 properties trading or in the development pipeline. Underground work has now begun on the vast land, and at the pace things are going, they are likely to beat the 2023 deadline. According to Iwuajoku, also the chairman and CEO of QUITS Aviation Services LTD, “The signing of the agreement to open Hilton Lagos Airport is testament to a period of exciting growth and development for Lagos. Our plans to build an exceptional hotel at the international airport will revolutionise the traveller experience and also offer a state-of-the-art choice for conferences, meetings and events. We look forward to a very successful collaboration with Hilton Worldwide on this outstanding development.”
Hilton Lagos Airport will comprise 350 guest-rooms including 72 suites, an executive floor and multiple food and beverage outlets. There would also be a restaurant serving international cuisine, a specialized restaurant, a fashionable rooftop cocktail bar and a hip night club.
An elevated pool deck, with lavish gardens and a striking horizon pool overhanging the side of the property, provides breath-taking views of the surroundings and a unique leisure experience for an airport property. The hotel will also feature a spa and fitness centre. Business travellers and event planners will benefit from a wide choice of professional facilities across the 2,600sqm event space, including a 1,350sqm ballroom and 500sqm junior ballroom.
Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, global brands, Hilton, said, “Hilton Lagos Airport will further solidify our presence in Nigeria and be a great asset to our Hilton Hotels and Resorts properties trading or under development in Africa. We have great confidence in this growing market and are proud to be pioneering exemplary guest experiences across the continent with our range of Hilton brands.”