Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Association advocates govts’ reduction of hotel bills to avoid retrenchment

The president, Nigerian Hotel Association, Mr Lanre Awoseyin, on Tuesday appealed to all the state governments to reduce the annual bills they charged hotel operators for them to break even instead of retrenching their workers.

Awoseyin , speaking  in Lagos yesterday, said  that the government should make the rates attractive to the operators to enlist their confidence in governments.

He then suggested that the lowest grade of operators, who are operating restaurants should pay N10,000 annually instead of the current N25,000 the state government was charging each of them.

He said that those that could be asked to pay more than N10,000 were those with over 50 rooms within their facilities.

Awoseyin also suggested that the personnel handling the registrations and ratings of hotels should be experts in the industry so that they could handle them professionally.

NAN reports that the Lagos State Government had some weeks early in the year appealed to stakeholders to adhere to the registration and ratings given to them or face sanctions.

Awoseyin said that if the operators should become over stretched by government’s billings, they would be forced to sack most of their workers.

According to him, hotels are suffering from high cost of energy, gas for cooking, adding that acquiring most of these facilities are beyond the reach of the operators.

The president said that the profits that hoteliers should have made; had ironically been ploughed back into running their hotels due to those challenges.

He noted that this had been further compounded by the challenge the operators had to go through before their facilities could be registered by the government.

“The government believes hotels and hospitality groups are making so much profit; but that is not the case because most customers just hold seminars and conferences there.

“Rather, the supposedly customers that patronise these hotels for events only end up lodging elsewhere instead of the rooms,“ he told NAN

He said that there were several hotels in Lagos but patronage was very low and this had been affecting their revenues.

These operators are not breaking even; so the government should stop imposing high bills on them, he said.

NAN reports that efforts to get the statistics of the operators registered and those sanctioned for failing to register in 2016 in the state from the Lagos State Government proved abortive.