With 22 rooms, seven of them executive, seven deluxe and four standard and four suites, RubbyGold, a venture of Otunba Reuben Ilemoboye Famuyibo is responding favourably to the challenges of the hospitality sector in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital. The hotel, located in Dugbe, Ibadan’s central business district, also houses a bar, a cinema, a night club as well as a shopping mall basically for furniture and electronics.
Explaining why he chose to name two of the suites after Otunba Niyi Adebayo and General Abdulkarim Adisa who at different times served as governors in Ekiti and Oyo State, Otunba Famuyibo said “I don’t forget friends, whether dead or alive. I value my friends. They are friends that have made impact in my life”.
But why would Famuyibo, a lawyer, site a hotel in Dugbe of all places? His response was that “the concept came when I did a survey. Around Dugbe, there are about 3,789 workers who will need breakfast and lunch, there are bankers who don’t have their families here; and I know that the best place to get breakfast in Paris is the business district. It is the same in Oxford Circus in London.
We have grown old suddenly because after work, you go home straight. After office hours, you need a place to go. That is why the concept of this place is total. My law office is there, we have a lounge and a cinema”.
Famuyibo, a businessman who combines the experience of age and the vigour of youth is not oblivious of the risk involved. “If I am taking a risk, I know it is a positive risk. What I am doing will bring people to this place. We are targeting the people around us here. If a place is a commercial area, you should make it attractive to people. And I am sure you are aware that 36% of the revenue Lagos generated last December came from entertainment”, he said.
On the issue of security, he said “since we laid the foundation, there has been no major issue. SARS is opposite us, banks are around us with policemen and we also have our own security and the police patrol here is all round the clock”.
‘Why another hotel when there are hotels all over the place?” we asked. Famuyibo smiled and said “we don’t have enough yet. If your hotel is okay, you will have great patronage. As a man, you need to take your wife out, you are a journalist, if you want to write, you can go to a hotel, you won’t have to bother about power cut or having to fuel the generator. Take the stress away and prolong your life”.
He however admitted that one of the main challenges is the orientation of Nigerians. “The average Nigerian will ask why spend N 5,000 to sleep in a hotel? I used to be stupid like that but when you sleep in a friend’s house, when you are leaving, you give the children money. In England, if you pay £ 50 in a hotel, they will change the bed sheets for you. We need to give ourselves comfort and not feel like we are in a dark age”, he said.
Speaking on the services, he disclosed that there is free breakfast, free wi-fi and a free shuttle bus for our guests”. He also shed light on the cinema, which he said will be in two phases. “I want a cinema that can compete with the best. The first phase will sit 150 people while the second is a 500 seater. There, you will have popcorn and a bottle of water free of charge”.