Covid-19: A’Ibom Reads Riot Act to Tourism Industry Operators


Okon Bassey in Uyo

Akwa Ibom State government has warned operators of tourism industry in the state to desist from practices that contravenes the Covid-19 guidelines.

As the state government reopens tourism businesses in the state, it further threatened to shut down any hotel that ignores the Covid-19 conditions for the industry to operate.
The state government gave the warning at a one- day Covid-19 seminar for operators in the hospitality sector in the state.

At the seminar with the theme: “Ensuring a Safer Akwa Ibom Hospitality Sector,” the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman Covid-19 Incident Management Committee, Dr. Emmanuel Ekuwem insisted hoteliers must adhere strictly to operational guidelines provided by government.

Ekuwem noted the hoteliers were part of the organisations that would help to check spread of coronavirus pandemic in the state.

“Akwa Ibom has become the hottest most sought for as event centre in Nigeria. The visitors must stay in safe hotels when they arrive.

“Their safety must be guaranteed in terms of strict adherence to covid19 protocol. But if safety is poor, it would amount to de-marketing the state, thereby thwart the effort of the governor in protecting the state against covid19 pandemic.
“Your industry is much needed by visitors and residents of Akwa Ibom. You are indispensable part for the work of the governor to ensure that Covid19 is checked in the state.”

The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism said Governor Udom Emmanuel has successfully funded the process of training the proprietors of hotels in the state so that they can replicate it in their various organisations.

He said monitoring team have been constituted to check hotels who will not adhere to covid19 guidelines as they would sanctioned accordingly.
The chairman of Akwa Ibom Hospitality and Management Board, Mr. Ini Akpabio observed that the emergence and prevalence of Covid19 pandemic across the world has had unimaginable impact on personal lives, businesses, economies, states and nations.

He said tourism and hospitality sectors have been the most affected because the business involves human travels and consumption at destination points.

“We are aware of the industry’s vulnerability in the fight for containment of Coronavirus which necessitated special attention by the state government to ensure the sector is proactively secured from being besieged by it.”

He said the Monitoring Team has been mandated to see to the successful implementation of the guidelines for well-being of employees and guests in the hospitality industry.

Visa Partners Drogba on ‘Where You Shop Matters’
Visa Inc. has unveiled a partnership with former footballer, Didier Drogba for its ‘Where You Shop Matters’ initiative, that is championing and supporting small businesses (SMBs) around the world while encouraging people to shop local.

As the Official Payment Services Partner for Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2021, Visa and Drogba would continue to partner to inspire and ignite excitement around one of the world’s most watched football tournaments, taking place in Cameroon in January 2022.
“Having lived and played in countries around the world, I have seen the important role that small businesses and entrepreneurs play in supporting communities everywhere,” Drogba said.

“After a very difficult year, it is vital that we all come together to support the small shops run by our families, friends and neighbors. My career wouldn’t have been possible without that first ball bought from a local store, and together with Visa, I hope we can support other businesses that help make dreams come true.”

The campaign aims to help support SMBs get back to business and to prosper through a number of initiatives including its Visa Small Business Hub, a merchant platform providing tools and information on how to start, run and grow small businesses. The Hub also features leading merchants who embody the passion and entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses.

“From his early beginnings to becoming a global icon, Drogba’s football achievements are as inspirational as his incredible humanitarian work and efforts to support progress everywhere,” senior vice president and head of marketing, Visa Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa, Mohammed Ismaeel said.