Agbai: Entrenching innovation in hotel business

Emma Njoku, Deputy Sports, Editor

When, in November 2004, Chief Jackson Agbai Abbah, from Abiriba, in Abia State, ventured into hospitality business, by establishing Blunchrose Hotels Ltd, owners of Dover Hotels, his aim was to provide one of man’s needs in a society where shelter and accommodation are important. With a hotel of over 84 rooms that has a conference hall of 500 guests, in Lekki, Phase 1, Lagos, he was primed enough to make a difference in the industry.

According to him, going into the hospitality industry was guided by the recognition of the primacy of man’s basic needs, which essentially remains, food, clothing and shelter. He therefore, felt that the hotel industry takes care of the two out of the three of these essentials – food and shelter.

Ten years after establishing his first hotel outlet, Abbah saw the need to expand and therefore, in 2014, decide to ‘export’ the Dover Hotels treats, which customers on Lagos Island had come to appreciate, to the mainland. He established another Dover Hotels with over 80 rooms and halls of various seating capacities in Ikeja.

Abbah, a trained lawyer, started his elementary school at Presbyterian Boys School, Victoria, Cameroon, and completed it at Constitution Crescent Primary School, Aba. He attended the Community Secondary School, Nbawsi, Abia State, where he graduated in 1982 and proceeded the same year to study Law at the Imo State University, now Abia State University. He graduated in 1986 and proceeded the same year to the Nigerian Law School, where he obtained his BL. He later attended the Lagos State University, where he obtained an LL.M degree in Banking and Investment Law.

The Blunchrose Hotels chairman started his career as a private legal practitioner in Aba from where he was involved in the promotion and incorporation of a bank, wherein he served as pioneer Company Secretary/Legal Adviser for 10 years. While in the bank, he was responsible for organising management, board and general meetings, ensuring preparation of minutes and enforcement and compliance of decisions. He was also responsible for the establishment of new branches and matters of legal, policy and regulatory enforcement.

Upon leaving the banking sector, he engaged in trading, manufacturing, real estate. With Dover Hotel, he has shown class and style. His hotel outfit in Ikeja has further expanded as on August 2, 2018, there was ground breaking of a new wing of his hotel. This state-of-the-art hotel wing was commissioned on August 3, 2019, with 104 rooms and a large conference hall that will take more than 1, 000 guests.

Speaking on this, Abbah said:  “The impetus for our belief came from our knowledge that some international hotel brands, have a policy to complete new hotel project within one year. We know as Nigerians, we can deliver within the same time frame or shorter, given the right environment and funding. Accordingly, we set out to work.”

Abbah’s Dover Hotels has a Unique Selling Point (USP) of complimentary breakfast and dinner.

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