The Immediate past President of the Airport Fire Cooperative and Multi-Purpose Society, AFCMS, Mr. Richard Tella speaks on the recent unveiling of the over N150 million hotel facility built by the Society in the Mafoluku area of the Lagos Airport.
What brought about the idea to have a place like this?
It has been a vision for the Cooperative Society to have something like for the past 4-5 years ago, we have tried to see in the time pass to see how we can locate a space where we can use within this environment, as you well know, this place is a well developed place, it was very difficult to get a virgin place so at the end of the day, what we did was to have somebody who was about to let go his property which we bought, we bought the property, we demolished it and we now came up with this edifice today.
Part of our dream was to how we can fix some gaps within the aviation environment, we found out that most of the passengers even some staff that comes from out stations, when they come around they don’t have where to stay, it is difficult for them to go to some hotels which is very exorbitant for the to affords, so we now came up with the idea to come up with our own that we can give to our members at a discount rate and also to serve the communities and the members of the public who may not want to miss their flight if they come a night before their flight, they can stay and move to board their flight, those are who we had in mind and that prompt us to have this kind of edifice in this place.
Though we have space constraints but we know that by God’s grace we will acquire more space, we praying to have adjoining space that we can join together to have enough space for other facilities to be put in place like the bar section, swimming pool the car park that is what we are planning for which will be the next stage of our operations.
Putting up this edifice is less than N150 million, we have about 22 rooms, 10-10 each on the first and second floor and 2 on the ground floor with other serving rooms like the kitchen, manager’s office and laundering.
In embarking on this project, where there Challenges?
Well, we had challenges, when there are challenges you most provide a way out of it but we thank God that we were able to achieve what we achieved today myself and the other executives we came around talk together and we had strategies on how to do it and this is what we have today, we achieved our goal.
How will this impact air travel?
It will improve air travel, as we all know, we know the challenge in this airport environment about traffic, there are a lot of traffic, people cannot get their check-in time but this one will assist in the sense that, they can come as early as possible to stay around and when it is time for them to go, they can now move from here. It is very easy to move from here to the airport 5 to 10 minutes they can get to the terminal.
What will be your Selling point?
There are many hotels here but what we are trying to see how we can though it will be competitive but what we are going to give them will definitely be standard above what other people are giving now. We are going to give them that standard, those facilities, it is going to be pocket friendly, it will also save the time of the traveler and member of staff will be able to afford and get accommodation of where to stay.
When you say pocket friendly, how much are we looking at here?
Well, the standard rate for any accommodation around this place is not less than N15, 000, N20,000, so our members will enjoy discount, we will go back the standard around this environment. The money will not be lower but what we will provide for them, the facilities, what they will enjoy. We have new and more facility that will attract people to come here. These facilities include bar, we are talking of enough car space, the state-of –the art facility here, they know the difference of what is here and the other ones.
How are you going to ensure that activities common in most hotels and lodges in Lagos do not take place here?
We have to put on enough security in place, get the identity of whoever that is coming, we have to know your identity, we have installed CCTV here, so whatever is going on here we will know, we have a center where we monitor whatever is going on here. So, whosoever is coming in, we have to know your background, where you are coming from will be taken care before we accept anybody.