The Association of Hotel Owners in Ekiti State has lamented the impact of kidnappings and other heinous crimes in the state, saying the waves of criminalities are crippling the hospitality business.
Speaking, the proprietor of the prosperous royal hotels and resorts, Mr Abiodun Isinkaiye, said the business has always been battling with the persistent issue of epileptic power supply in Nigeria, saying the increasing cases of abduction and COVID-19 pandemic, had further worsened the situation.
The business guru spoke with newsmen on Monday as part of the activities lined up for the 2021 annual public lecture and Awards presentation, by the Nigeria Union of Journalists, Correspondents’ Chapel, Ekiti Council, slated for Thursday in Ado Ekiti.
Isinkaiye appealed to the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governors to work hard to tame the abduction of Nigerians by gunmen, which he said had reduced the profit margin of every sector of the economy, with the hospitality sector being the worst hit.
He said: “Management of hotels business had always been a problem in Nigeria in view of epileptic electricity supply we have been facing for long. We rely on diesel as a source of power, which reduces our profit margin because the power supply has to run for 24 hours to give our customers comfort.
“As we were still trying to cope with that, the Covid 19 and kidnapping reared their ugly heads. The two had really affected the hospitality business in Nigeria negatively, in fact, we can’t quantify the hardship that we are facing in the sector, it is of the highest order.
“Since the two started in full force, the business environment has changed. The number of visitors to our facilities have reduced, fearing that they could be kidnapped or contract the COVID-19 virus.
“When those who are visiting the state from the government or corporate world are to be five, the management will cut down the number to two because of these problems and these are the people we rely mostly on patronage.
“Except we are deceiving ourselves, it has not been easy with the operators of this business in recent time. Again, though we are not getting many visitors and the few ones we get must be safe and secured, and this makes us also invest more in providing security so that our visitors won’t be kidnapped.
“The government also is enforcing COVID-19 compliant in all facilities. We are investing more monies buying sanitisers and other facilities that are making safety protocols easier, which gulped huge amount of money and constituting huge burden to us.”
Isinkaiye described hospitality as a reliable employment-generating sector in the country, that requires the attention of the government at all levels.
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