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Political Conventions: Abuja Hotels Experience Surge in Patronage

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Hotel owners in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have had reasons to reap bountifully from their investments in the last week as they’ve been daily smiling to the banks.

This is as 2,068 delegates of the country's two major political parties have flooded the nation's capital to elect their respective presidential flag bearers for the 2023 general election.

Expectedly, the 2022 season of political convergence in Abuja has not come without an astronomic hike in the rates of hotel rooms from between 50 to 100 percent.

Investigations show that the major 5-star hotels in the FCT now charge as high as N243,000 per room per night against their previous price average of N107,000.

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.

And just as the saying goes: one man's meat, another man's poison; regular customers of these hotels have been caught on the receiving end as those who were yet to renew their bills in advance were disappointedly dislodged and asked to look elsewhere for accommodation.

Just like last week when the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential primary took place between May 28 – 29,  delegates of the All Peoples Congress (APC) started arriving in Abuja on the night of Saturday, June 4, for the ruling party’s convention taking place from June 6 – 8.

They were seen in their large numbers in major hotels in the heart of the city waiting to be handed the keys to their respective rooms.

At a popular hotel in Area 11, guests were seen leaving in droves either checking out or being turned back because the hotel had been fully booked ahead of the convention.

Elsewhere in Area 11, one of the managers of the popular Amala Point, Joshua Uwusha told Nigeria Info that “business has been booming for a few days, politicians are already getting into town and when they come, they normally patronise us.”

While the PDP had 811 delegates during its convention, the APC has 2,340 delegates, consisting of 1,257 from the North and 1,068 from the South.

An angry guest who identified himself as Roland Akpede said he and his colleagues had booked Chelsea Hotel for some nights but were disappointed when they were denied rooms on Monday afternoon.

According to him, "If you pay for two days and you don't show up on time, they'll give out the room to visiting delegates who are willing to pay higher.

"I don't really blame them because hotels are really chocked up and when they didn't see us on time, they gave it out.

“But in the end, we fought for them to give us our rooms back, it wasn't easy for us.

“Some of our colleagues had to go to outskirts like Mararaba and were told hotel rooms had been fully booked. Some of us coming from Lagos are yet to get rooms."

As delegates and party faithful continue to strategise and work towards the emergence of their preferred candidate at the ongoing APC primary in Abuja, the hospitality industry in the nation's capital has benefitted immensely from the political events which are coming at a time when residents of the city are grappling with economic hardship which has been further worsened by prevailing fuel scarcity.

While the influx of politicians, delegates, and party faithful into Abuja from the 774 local governments of the federation has become a tradition in every four years of the Nigerian political cycle, expectations from the vast majority of Nigerians are that credible candidates are elected to contest for the nation's number one seat.


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