Kogi Poll: Hotels, restaurants, others record high patronage
Business has been booming for most of the hotels in Lokoja, Kogi Capital, following the massive influx of people to the state, ahead of Saturday’s Governorship election.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who visited some of the hotels, reports that most of them had been fully booked.
The state is playing host large number of visitors, including journalists, security personnel, INEC officials, election observers, politicians, among others.
Miss Hope, Orji, a Receptionist at Halims Hotels and Towers, Lokoja, expressed joy that the election had attracted economic benefits to the hospitality industry in the state.
She told NAN that some of the guests were politicians and their associates.
Orji said that though some of the guests were yet to settle their bills, “there is hope that at the end of the day, we will smile’’.
At Ibito-Capital Hotel, near the Christian Corpers Lodge in Lokoja, the Manager, Mr Isaac Oloruntoba, said that the upsurge of visitors to the state as a result of the election increase demand for hospitality services in the state.
“I am happy that the election has attracted a lot of visitors and patronage for the hospitality industry in Lokoja,” he said.
Oloruntoba, however, said that in spite the high demand for hotel services, the management of the outfit resisted the temptation of increasing its charges.
He said that the restrain became necessary “because what is happening is a temporary development and we do not want to lose our customers.
“Some of these customers may want to patronise us beyond the election period”.
NAN reports that operators of restaurants in various parts of the state have also been making brisk business.
Mrs Abigail Aliu, who runs a restaurant on Marine road, Lokoja, told NAN in separate interview that ‘’the profit I am making daily has tripled my weekly income before now.
“For the past three days that Lokoja has witnessed influx of visitors as a result of this governorship election, my restaurant has been booming with many customers,” she said.
Aliu, however, appealed to politicians, the contestants and the electorate to make peace their watch words, before, during and after the election.
She said that the state had had enough of the political crisis in the past.
“All we need now is development and not a crisis,” she added.
NAN investigation, however, revealed that inter and intra transport fares had remained stable in spite of the influx of people to state.
Meanwhile, operators of small scale businesses, including hawkers of sachet water, petty traders and other consumable items, are also smiling to the banks due to high patronage.
It will be recalled that the police high command said it had deployed about 16,000 personnel to guarantee security before, during and after the election.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had also assured political parties that the election would be fair, hitch-free and credible.