The Nigeria Hotel Association (NHA) has called on the Federal Government to set up hospitality and tourism bank to support the industry.
Eze Patrick Anyawu, National President of the association, made the call in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Abuja.
Anyawu said that such support was needed to make the industry thrive and contribute to the nation’s economy.
He said that the hospitality industry was important to the nation’s economy and should not be left solely in the hands of individuals.
“Hotels and the hospitality industry are integral to the development of the country’s economy.
“It is one of the top 10 revenue earners for the federal government, especially through taxation and government needs to accord it more recognition,’’ he said.
Anyawu suggested that hospitality should be an integral part of government’s fiscal policy.
He called on the National Assembly to create committees on hospitality to regulate and carry out oversight of the sector.
“ We are the ones who provide accommodation to foreigners whenever they come to Nigeria.
“The tourism sector which happens to be a sector government is now focusing on to boost revenue heavily depends on the hospitality industry to succeed.
“The National Assembly should set up committees on hospitality to regulate and oversight the industry in order to maintain and improve standard.
“We also deserve a specialised bank like a tourism and hospitality bank for support in the area of project funding through flexible credit.
“That will enable the hoteliers expand and improve on facilities in line with global best practices,’’ he said.
The hotelier also urged government to improve infrastructure in the country to make hospitality more profitable.
“Hospitality industry consumes so much power, and we want government to ensure improvement of electricity supply to enable us function more effectively.
“Most hotels in Nigeria run on 24 hours power generating sets.
“We are employers of labour, and we support government to reduce the unemployment burden; so, we also deserve government’s support and encouragement.
“We are not supposed to spend additional resources on basic infrastructure that government should provide,’’ he said.
He said that the tourism sector had not been fully tapped due to government’s low level of commitment