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Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
Hotel proprietors in Bauchi State have cried out that their businesses are being paralysed by the ban on social gatherings and partial lockdown of the state to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the state.
The Chairman of Nigeria Hotels Association, Bauchi State Chapter, Mr. Eze Patrick Anyanwu, who addressed newsmen yesterday at Obuna Royal Hotel, Bauchi, also called on the state government to assist the association with the sum of N500 million in order to save the hotels from collapse.
Anyanwu said that the negative impact of COVID-19 on their businesses has constrained them to resort to borrowing from banks to maintain their hotels and pay staffs’ salaries.
He said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the hotels. Yet we are expected at the end of the month to still pay taxes, pay for electricity, water and so on.
“Some of our staffs are being paid fully, some are paid half salaries. We have not decided to have any of our staff sacked. They are still on the job.
“We normally get our customers through neighboring states. The lockdown on neighboring states have made us no more enjoying. Some of us borrowed money from banks to put their hotels in order. If we are not working, how can we repay the loans?”
Anyanwu observed that numerous workers who earn their living from the 140 hotels in the state would become jobless if the hotels are allowed to go bankrupt and collapse.
“Hotels contribute to the internally generated revenue of the state. They contribute in the socio-economic development of the state.
“Hotels have been helping in terms of gainful employments to our youths. We, hereby, request N500 million from the state government as financial assistance,” he said.