July 25, (THEWILL) – As the world heads back to business, hospitality sector, one of the sectors that has suffered most at the hands of COVID-19 is progressing with difficulty, such that hotel revenue generation has dropped by 50 percent.
THEWILL newspaper gathered that even on the verge of Lagos State through Federal Government was easing lockdown, hotels remained the last to unrest. In a bid to reduce spread during the pandemic, authorities in Nigeria banned people from accessing hotels across the states. Meanwhile, hotelier lamented that government taxes kill their business. And in a bid to tackle the side effect of the pandemic, one of the sector players has called for a thriving hospitality environment.
President, Lagos State Small and Medium Enterprise Hotels, Mr. Jamiu Talabi, has revealed that the hospitality customers were potentially pleasure seekers but that hoteliers have been financially trapped.
According to Talabi, the main patronage came from those with disposable income. And those set of people are being affected.
“We are still there and we have not got over them because during the lockdown there are some expenses we were incurring, which include electricity bills and staff wages. During the lockdown we asked some of our staff to stay back despite the fact that we are not making money but we retain them especially the maintenance and the security people. We kept on maintaining them and these categories of staff would be needed to retain and of course we maintained them.
There is also other challenge such as government taxes and levies, although, Lagos State Government was considerate enough that they waved some taxes and levies at the easing COVID-19 lockdown. But we have not started seeing the effect of the waver in our business and this is because the economy is bad, hitherto patronage is low.
Virtually all the spectrum of government have one levy or more to collect from the sector. Particularly, after lockdown we came to business and we all knew the thing affected government revenue, some of them even increased what we were been paying before and some of them were magnanimous enough to reduce and some waved to 2021.