ByÂ Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
The Kwara State House of Assembly and Ilorin Emirate Descendants Progressives Union (IEDPU) have raised the alarm over the proliferation of hotels and guest houses in the state.
The state legislature and the socio- cultural group were however unanimous in their views that proliferation of hotels, especially in Ilorin, the state capital, was aiding criminality in the state.
Speaking at a stakeholdersâ€™ forum organised by theÂ IEDPU over rising security threats in Ilorin, the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Dr. Ali Ahmad, said steps were being taken to reverse the trend
He said the recent findings had shown that Kwara State has highest number of hotels in the country with Adewole Housing Estate, Ilorin, topping the list with over 100 hotels.
The speaker attributed the upsurge in the hotels to indiscriminate conversion of residential houses to guest houses.
Ahmad, represented by Hon. Abdulrafiu Abdulrahman, member representing Ilorin North West, disclosed that an executive bill to curb the proliferation of hotels in the state had scaled second reading in the assembly.
He said the legislative framework, when eventually passed, would introduce stringent conditions to the land use law, which would in turn, make it difficult for anyone to convert residential building to a hotel or guest house.
Ahmad said the fallout of the trend include nude parties, indecent dressing, cultism among others, adding that some of the hotels serve as abodes for questionable characters.
“By gazette, Kwara State has highest number of hotels in Nigeria. In Adewole Housing Estate alone, there are over 100 hotels or guest houses. Most of the hotels are residential buildings converted to hotels with no approval from relevant authorities.
“We are presently working on an executive bill that would regulate proliferation of hotels, sales of alcohol and consumption of liquor within some areas within Ilorin metropolis. So, if that law is put in place, we will put in stringent measures that would make it impossible or very difficult to actually convert a residential building to a hotel.
“But let me correct erroneous impression in some quarters that the upsurge in crime in recent times was as a result of political issue. That is not true. Rather, it is caused by urbanisation,” the speaker said.
Also speaking, the state Chief Judge, Justice Sulaiman Durosinlohun Kawu, expressed displeasure that Ilorin did not prepare for challenges associated with urbanisation and expansion, which could not be isolated from the wave of crime in the city.
As a way out, the judge urged the IEDPU to have a roll call of retired security officials from Ilorin and invite them to a meeting with a view to deliberating on how best to arrest the alarming situation.
The IEDPU President, Alhaji Abdulhamid Adi, warned that the cultural values of Ilorin are being gradually eroded with corrosive influence of alien practices.
He noted that the city is rapidly expanding with influx of strangers but stressed the need to rise to the challenges in the interest of peace and harmony the city.
Adi urged residents of Ilorin and its environs to report any strange development to appropriate security agencies for swift action.