Zaranda International Hotel is now for sale at N1.2 billion as the Bauchi State government almost concluded arrangements to privatise the tallest building and largest hotel in the city alongside five other assets.
Baba Tela, the Deputy Governor of Bauchi State who doubled as the Chairman Bureau for Privatisation and Economic Reforms (SBPER), disclosed the state’s position to journalists on Tuesday shortly after the close of financial bidding for the six companies, maintaining that it was in the best interest of all stakeholders and the people of the state.
Zaranda is located 4km from the center of the city along the Bauchi–Jos road and has a total of 184 rooms, which are of different categories, with the promise of offering hospitable services.
These categories include the Double Room, Luxury Room, Executive, Presidential and Diplomatic Suites — all with air-conditioners, king-size bed, flat screen TV, telephone, refrigerator and an en-suite bathroom with toiletries. Some of these rooms have a kitchen/kitchenette.
Other facilities for its guests include free Wi-Fi, a swimming pool, parking slots, 24-hour front desk service and power supply, an outdoor tennis court, and a restaurant where guests can choose from a list of both local and continental dishes. Security personnel guard the premises at all times to ensure the safety of its guests.
Laundry/dry cleaning services, barber/hair stylists, a gift shop, car hire services, concierge services, 24-hour room service/housekeeping and meeting facilities that can hold 500 people are additional benefits of the hotel.
Zaranda is not alone in the privatisation saga, Bauchi Meat Factory, Bauchi State Fertilizer and Blending Company, Wikki Hotels and Tours, Gallambi Cattle Ranch and Bauchi Furniture Company were also involved.
But the privatisation was long planned. In March 2021, the Bauchi State Government invited both national and international prospective investors to express interest in leasing one or more of the companies advertised.
Beyond the government’s control?
The privatisation, as understood from Tela’s words, was due to the state government’s inability to keep the companies afloat.
According to Tela, the state government would bring in people who have the financial and managerial capacity to resuscitate the companies and generate money for the government, create employment, and boost the economic activities of the state.
“Government is not just interested in selling the assets off but interested in seeing them work because it has realized it’s incapacitated to run them profitably.”
“This is the first round. More industries and entities have been slated for privatization and we will continue to do it as long as there are those enterprises that need to be privatized,” he added.
The new managers
Zaranda was leased out for 25 years to preferred bidder Butfield, who offered N1.2 billion and another N200 million for Wikki Hotels.
AY Shafa beat two others and emerged the preferred bidder to clinch Bauchi Fertilizer and Blending Company after offering 80 percent of the shares at a price of N400 million.
New Frontier was the preferred bidder to acquire 75 percent of Bauchi Meat Factory at N301 million. Meanwhile, Galambi Cattle Ranch was acquired for N150 million by H& Y Global Ventures for the same amount.
In fact, it is a nice place to relax after a journey back from Yankari resort, the renowned game reserve in Nigeria and most government forums and seminars are held there.