The Hoteliers Association of Nigeria, Oyo State Chapter has commended the Governor of Oyo State, Engr. Seyi Makinde for streamlining and harmonising the incoherent and multiple taxations being paid by the tourism and hospitality industry outfits in the state.
The President of the association, who doubled the Chief Executive Officer of Davies Hotel, Ibadan, Mr Ayo Ogundele who led other executive members of the association made the commendation during a courtesy and congratulatory visit to the Special Adviser to Governor Makinde on Tourism, Culture and Arts, Hon. Akeem Ademola Ige, on Tuesday.
Mr Ogundele noted that the association has complained about the incoherent and multiple taxations on the tourism and hospitality industry to previous administrations in the state, emphasising the need for harmonisation of the taxation in the state but to no avail, “but Governor Makinde was able to do this for us within a year that he assumed office.”
Ogundele then commended Governor Makinde for appointing Hon. Ige as the Special Adviser on Tourism, Culture and Arts, Ogundele, whom he described as an experienced administrator and politician, who is opened and has the interest of the state at heart.
He then charged Governor Makinde to see the Tourism and Hospitality industries as the largest employers of labour, and accord it more commitment and support.
The Chief Executive Officer of Davies Hotel, Ibadan who emphasised that the travel and hospitality in Oyo State and Nigeria at large are facing a serious challenge, orchestrated by the ravaging novel-Coronavirus, enjoined Governor Makinde to give hospitality operators in the state some relief packages to assuage the pressures the ravaging pandemic put on the industries.
He stressed that due to the ravaging COVID-19, hospitality outfits in Oyo State are running less are than 30 per cent of their capacity, while a good number of hotels have laid off about 80 per cent of their staff.
He then expressed optimism that the tourism, travel and entertainment industries in the state would experience rapid and unprecedented development under the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration in the state.
Hon Ige, who described Governor Makinde as fantastic among other governors in Nigeria, noted that hoteliers are critical stakeholders in tourism, while acknowledging the fact that they need more recognition.
While noting that Oyo State has been messed up by the past governments in the state, especially the former Senator Abiola Ajimobi-led administration, Hon Ige emphasised that Governor Makinde has the interest to invest in tourism.
Hon Ige then called for a working relationship between the hoteliers and the state government. He added that the Makinde-led administration is intensifying its efforts at securing the lives and property of the people in the state, charging hoteliers to also do more in securing the lives and property of their customers.
The former Minority Leader of the Oyo State House of Assembly, who noted that Governor Makinde is creating an enabling environment for business in the state assured that his administration would revive the tourist sites in the state.