S/W Hoteliers, Governors Collaborate To Strengthen Hospitality Sector
South West Hoteliers Association has collaborated with the government of the six Southwest states to strengthen efforts in order to boost the zone’s hospitality industry.
This was contained in a communiqué released after the maiden edition of the South- West Hoteliers Association Business Retreat, held at Indices Suites & Gardens, Onikolobo Abeokuta, Ogun State recently.
The agreement is coming against the backdrop of the country’s efforts to diversify the economy against dwindling prices of crude oil.
The governors, who were represented at the forum, however identified the need to strengthen ties with the operators in order to harness the various opportunities in the sector. They also promised to harmonize the various taxes and levies inhibiting the operation of the hoteliers.
Governor Ambode, who was represented at the event by Mrs. Olufunmilayo Balogun, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism, disclosed that the Lagos state government would prioritise the needs and yearnings of the operators. He added that the hospitality sector has the capacity to expand the revenue base of the state and the country at large.
He however called for the cooperation of hoteliers in the state in order to boost the sector. According to him, the new administration in Lagos state will not only focus on registration and certification of hoteliers in the state, but is committed to sustaining a viable business environment for investors.
Meanwhile, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who was represented by Mrs. Aderonke Tokunbo- Peters, Director, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, promised to consolidate on the existing relationship with stakeholders in order to move the sector forward. He however urged the association to continue to work with the government.
According to Chief Adoroh Jerome, the president of the association, the retreat is being put together to enable hoteliers and critical stakeholders from the south-west come together and deliberate on issues affecting the industry, and find solutions on how to move it forward using the platform of a virile strong and development association
In the end, the association seeks the partnership of all relevant government agencies including security to enlist all non-registered hotels in the zone to join the umbrella body in order to enhance security, forestall crime and facilitate seamless communication with government and other stakeholders.
It said, “the various efforts of the Governments of Southwest are commendable especially in the promotion of regional integration and development of infrastructure aimed at cooperative renewal of the socio-economic and infrastructural development of the region. It also urged the government to place more attention on road construction and improved power supply.
It also ‘’promises that the executive members of the association will meet the South West governors to address issues of multiple taxation under different guises, and to also resolve the various tax including consumption tax, environmental levy among others imposed on the members by the State, Local Government and Internal Revenue Services.
It also solicits for the assistance of relevant government agents to enable her secure loan (at very low interest rate) and foreign grants and the establishment of Hospitality and Tourism Industry bank, as it obtains in some other specialized sectors.
It also urged the various States Houses of Assembly to formulate law which will compel all hoteliers to operate under the umbrella of the association, in order to ease the problem of enumeration, classification, poor revenue generation, compliance and security.
Thepromise to mobilize its members to fulfilling their basic duties by paying all genuine taxes and levies due to government without prompting as at when due. It also called for synergy between the association and governments of the zone, with a view to bridging communication gaps in order to promote mutual business and fiscal development.
The association also urged the government and hoteliers to collaborate by ensuring adequate representation and involvement of the Known Hoteliers Association Members (to be so nominated by the Association at the various states) into the relevant Agencies, Boards and or Committees that deal with the Hospitality industry. It said at least two members of its association must adopted in the State Tourism board, in order to enable a seamless, collaborative and more productive relationship.
Meanwhile the association in the communiqué urged its members to pay high premium on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in their areas of operation by contributing to the community development efforts and maintenance of peace and security in their neighbourhood and that the Association shall place special attention to compliance by members.
On welfare and security of its members and the public, it also urged its members to liaise with top echelon of the Nigeria Police Force in line with the security challenges and incidences of misapplication of law being faced by members in their day –to- day operation.
The association however promised to collaborate with the government of the zone in order to facilitate easy approval of building plans of its members. It however assured that it will continually intervene with government in order to fast track issuance of approved plans to the members.