Life Skills From Basketball Has Helped Me In Real Estate, Says Akiga
FELIX Akiga is best known for his basketball skills, which saw him playing for Benue Braves and ultimately Nigeria in his very active days as player. Now, many years after calling it quits on the court, he has found for himself a new lease of life in real estate. Remarkably, he says he still draws from the lessons he imbibed in the basketball court.
With his hands in the hospitality industry and a chain of hotels in Makurdi, Benue State, Abuja, Obudu and Dubai, his Royal Choice Inn seems to be on the expansion drive, as he has taken a step further to go into partnership in a private partnership with universities in the country.
Beginning with his alma mata, the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Akiga has built a new 100-bedroom hotel for the institution in a build, operate and transfer deal that will see him hand over the facility in 18 years.
He explains: “Royal Choice Inn, Samari with the Ahmadu Bello University complex will be run by us and transferred after 18 years according to the MoU signed to that effect. The reason for this partnership is to create educational, sports and medical tourism for people who come there for different purposes. ABU is known for best cancer treatment in Nigeria and those who undergo surgeries can stay at the hotel for easier check-ups, research teams and others.
“I was in ABU Zaria on a business trip and stayed in one of the guest houses, but fell ill because of the poor sanitary condition and it occurred to me to do something about it.
“Part of what we’re putting on ground in ABU are three luxury suites, two units of two three-bedrooms and two units of two-bedroom blocks. The idea of this facility is also to help the university in her internally generated fund. I was reading Physical and Health Education here in ABU before I travelled to England to further my studies and I felt there is a need to give back through this.”
As part of his corporate social responsibility, Akiga’s company Choice Leisure Limited has constructed a 3.5km of road and two bridges leading to the Phase Two of the university, a mosque for muslim worshippers that has been completed and commissioned, 65m bore hole complete with pumping machines and tanks at the sports centre. He has also donated two trophies for inter-faculty basketball championship with a cash prize of N100, 000 each for male and female teams winners.
Akiga is also handling a 24-bed space hostel for male and female basketball teams.