Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule, has signed a bill to regulate operations of hotels and other related businesses in the state to address illegal and multiple taxes.
Dogo Shammah, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, said this during an inspection tour of hotels and other related businesses facilities in Lafia on Thursday.
According to him, the signing of the bill is to pave way for registration, centralisation and collection of hotel taxes into a single account and to address multiple and illegal taxes in the industry.
“We cannot operate outside the provision of the law, there is an instrument of power to back our operations as Gov. Abdullahi Sule has signed into law a bill passed by the state assembly for registration and regulation of hospitality industry in the state,’’ he said.
Shammah said that the tour of hotels was part of governments’ effort to embark on e-registration, grading and standardisation of all existing hotels, night clubs, fast foods, cinemas and recreational centres in the state for easy identification of their business premises.
He said that the state had identified tourism industry as front runner in the transformation of the state economy, hence the desire to collaborate with the private sector to achieve accelerated economic growth through well-articulated programmes and policies.
“The planned repositioning of hotels and other related business enterprises in the state is not aimed at exploiting your efforts with tax, but rather, it is aimed at standardizing your business to attract investors and clients to your facilities.
“It is the desire of the present administration, under the leadership of governor Sule to ensure that the state attains an accelerated economic growth and sustainable development through well-articulated programmes and policies in collaboration with the private sector,’’ he said.
Anthony Agbo, the Chairman, Lafia Branch of Nigeria Hotelier Association, said that the hospitality industry had suffered major setback due to the COVID-19 pandemic and multiple taxation.
Agbo appealed to the state government to support the operators and also suggested the harmonisation of revenue collection in the industry as well as provision of security around hotel premises.
Abeku Danjuma, the Chairman, Nigeria Hoteliers Association in Nasarawa State, commended the state government for taking steps to stop multiple taxation, while appealing to his members to be patient with the state government on the implementation of its plans.