SUMMARY – NIGERIAN HOTEL OWNERS, THROUGH HOTEL OWNERS FORUM ABUJA (HOFA), PURSUE A TOURISM MINISTRY TO ENHANCE REGULATION AND COMBAT CRIME. THIS RESONATES WITH A BROADER CALL FOR INDUSTRY GROWTH AND EFFECTIVE OVERSIGHT.
Hotel Owners Forum Abuja, which represents Nigerian hotel owners, has called on President Bola Tinubu’s administration to create a dedicated Ministry of Tourism. This initiative aims to strengthen regulation in the hospitality sector.
HOFA President, Mrs. Funmi Kazeem, emphasized in an interview that creating a distinct Ministry of Tourism would empower the government to reinforce regulations and curb crimes in the sector. She highlighted the prevalence of criminal activities in hotels, underlining the importance of proper regulation.
“We need efficient regulation to counter crimes within and around hotels. Incidents happen, and we can identify culprits through our CCTV systems. Some hotels exploit lax regulations to harbor criminals,” Kazeem asserted.
Fostering Accountability and Growth
Kazeem underscored the significance of a unified hotel association in preventing unethical practices. She mentioned that 300 out of a thousand FCT hotels are HOFA members, citing tax evasion as the reason for non-membership among the remaining 700 establishments.
“Unregulated hotels evade taxes and tarnish our industry’s reputation. A well-regulated landscape would mitigate criminal activities,” Kazeem remarked.
HOFA’s Appeal for Effective Oversight
HOFA’s appeal echoes the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), which also called for a dedicated Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Chief Olusegun Runsewe, NCAC’s Director-General, highlighted the need for bridging the communication gap between private and public sectors in the tourism industry.
“A separate ministry would enhance communication and collaboration, boosting tourism and culture sectors,” Runsewe stated.