By Musa Sunusi Ahmad

The Nasarawa State Chapter of the Nigeria Hotel Association (NHA) has decried low patronage of people in hotel business, saying the sector in the last few weeks was badly hit by the emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic.

By this development, the hotel association appealed to the state government to grant them N1.5 billion stimulus to cushion the effects of COVID-19 on their business.

The Chairman of the association, Abeku Danjuma made this known on Friday during a courtesy visit on the Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, Dogo Shammah in Lafia.

The Chairman explained that hotels in the state were badly hit and have lost almost everything to the outbreak of COVID-19 and its consequences.

“Our businesses were shutdown since the outbreak without customers which means complete blockage in our income.

“The stimulus would serve as a backup to sustain the hospitality and tourism industry from total collapse and prevent job loses,” the Chairman added.

He further appealed that the government should grant them three years tax holiday to enable them recover from the shock of the effects of the pandemic.

He also said that the government should grant them permission to conduct home delivery of food to their clients that required such services due to restriction of movement.

“The government should also approve special identity cards to staff of hotels registered with the association to enable them move to markets for purchase of essential items for their hotels,” he said.

The NHA Chairman therefore directed all their members not to retrench staff to avoid youths restiveness in the state and hardship on the people.

Responding, the Commissioner of information thanked the association for their contribution to the economy development of the state.

Shammah expressed the willingness of the Governor Abdullahi Sule led administration to work with the association toward the development of the tourism industry.

He explained that already the government was working on a bill to reposition hotels in the state for better performance.

The Commissioner, therefore, assured the association that their request would be forwarded to the governor for consideration.

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