Former Benue state governor and serving senator, George Akume, has debunk media reports that he owns the Hope Alive Foundation (HAF) Haven Hotel in Benue state.
The senator in a statement through his special assistant, Mrs Becky Orpin explained that, the hotel contrary to the report, is owned by the Hope Alive Foundation (HAF), an independent action oriented Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) which was incorporated in 2002 with a Board of Directors.
She said Senator Akume, given his humanitarian disposition to the disadvantaged members of society, only identifies with the ideals for which HAF was incorporated.
She said Hope Alive Foundation is a charitable non-profit foundation that takes care of widows, orphans and the physically challenged in Benue State, adding that it feeds and provides homes and workable skills to the underprivileged, and awards scholarships to indigent students.
According to her, unlike most foundations that rely on donations, HAF funds its own humanitarian activities through the revenue generated from such ventures as HAF Haven Hotel.
The statement reads partly, “Therefore, the hotel is definitively not the property of Senator Akume but of HAF.
“Apart from taking care of the underserved in Benue State, HAF Haven Hotel is a law abiding corporate body that diligently adheres to tax regulations. We have not defaulted on payments as we have always endeavoured to make minimum payments. For instance, between 2011 to 2014, HAF Haven Hotel has paid a cumulative N1.1 million in taxes and N745, 000, full payment, for the year 2014/15.
“Currently, HAF Haven Hotel has a minor dispute with the FIRS over tax assessments carried out on the hotel. Our auditors detected duplications in the assessments and the Tax Comptroller in Makurdi, Benue State, was alerted.
“Unfortunately, the issues raised by HAF Haven Hotel were yet to be resolved by the Comptroller, when a team from the headquarters of the FIRS swooped in and summarily closed down the hotel, without listening to HAF’s petition.
“However, HAF Haven Hotel will work co-operatively with the FIRS to resolve this issue professionally. We believe that reason will soon prevail and the hotel will be re-opened; to continue generating revenues to support HAF’s humanitarian endeavours.”