The Enugu State Government says it has captured an additional 251 functional hotels in its database, as part of drives to improve hospitality and tourism businesses in the state.
The General Manager of Enugu State Tourism Board, Chief Steve Odo, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Enugu on Saturday, that the number of hotels captured by government was now 403.
Odo spoke on the sidelines of his achievements within one year in office as the General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the board.
He said that when he assumed office in 2020, he was handed over only 152 hotels, mostly sited within the urban areas of Enugu and Nsukka axis of the state.
“However, with the cooperation and hard work of members of staff of the board, we were able to put in our best that ensured more hotels were captured, even in the two metropolises and beyond.
“For Enugu metropolis, which covers the three council areas of Enugu East, Enugu North and Enugu South; we now have 287 hotels in our database.
“In Nsukka axis, we now have about 65, and others captured in other developing axis of the state as well, which before now, the board did not know that such hotels existed in these locations.
“So, I can say that working as a team in the board has doubled the number of operating and functional hotels captured by the state ,’’ he said.
The general manager noted that capturing of more functional hotels would aid the hospitality and tourism businesses as well as provide government revenue for developmental purposes.
“Enugu State Tourism Board Law 2013 requires every hospitality, tourism and tourism-related establishments to apply for registration within 60 days of its operations, and be registered if so approved.
“The board has the right to refuse to grant such applications, if the establishment do not conform to the minimum standard,’’ he said.
Odo said that a Certificate of Registration was issued to any registered establishment and any such certificate issued to a hospitality or tourism establishments, expired on Dec. 31, immediately following the date of issuance.
“It shall be renewable from year to year on payment of such fees as may be prescribed by the board.
“No hospitality and tourism-related activity or other such events shall hold in the state unless the same is first registered with the board upon payment of such fees, as may be prescribed by the board,’’ he said.
Odo said the development would assist the state carryout classification of hotels and hospitality-related businesses to boost its tourism potentials, adding: “The classification will be performed according to the facilities provided in them and their locations.”
He said that hotel facilities would be classified into A, B, C and D and at the end, projected in the board’s website as well as media information platforms for ease of access and patronage.
On staff welfare, Odo said the board had been able to boost the morale of members of its staff; thus, encouraged them to work harder.
“The board, under my supervision, has ensured that staff monthly remittances/deductions, get to the state board of internal revenue, which was not so in the past.
“We have been able to ensure that retired staff of the board from my tenure are pensionable, and they can apply and collect tax clearance from the state board of internal revenue.
“Since, the staff output had improved over time; we are pressing to see that they are paid minimum wage being enjoyed by state workers, especially those in the state ministries,” he said.