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In Hospitality,

what we were spending on diesel was heavy; the road is better but the double taxation should be looked into because we pay consumption tax and VAT.

On the policies of Lagos State Government to the sector, Ibelegbu explained that the operators have been faced with diverse bills, stressing that such levies and taxations have negatively affected those in the hospitality sector.

She therefore, appealed to Lagos State Government to provide friendly policies that would favour operators in the industry.

Describing the hospitality industry in Nigeria as one that has come a long way, she noted that practitioners in the past were not as experienced as today.

Advising operators, she said that packaging has a lot to do in the industry, saying “hospitality is about your service. The way and manner you received your guests counts in this industry. Even when they are not happy; after meeting you, they should have cause to be happy. You don’t struggle to make money and struggle to enjoy the money”, Ibelegbu said.

She advised the incoming tourism minister to make sure that the issues of multiple taxation to hotels are addressed.

“When VAT and consumption bills are added to the price of drinking water in the hotels, some people most times would be in the hotel and prefer to go outside and drink just to avoid these high bills. It does not encourage our business and it is really affecting us”, she pointed out.

Ibelegbu added “Tourism is about encouraging people to live their homes to a more relaxed place, not a horrible zone. It shouldn’t be money because one does not really need to be rich to go out for relaxation and site-seeing. You must not be rich to be a tourist. Everybody should be encouraged to be a tourist and it is another way to expand peoples’ life spam.

“For a hotel to really last, the owners must be very careful of the kind of people that come into the hotel. From our gate as you enter we have the record of all the guests, what they do and where they are coming from at any given time. We also have our CCTV cameras. I think hospitality without security does not worth it”, she observed.

– Ebere chibuzor

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