COVID-19: Hoteliers lose over N15bn in Rivers

The Nigeria, Hotel Association, Rivers State Chapter, says it has lost more than N15 billion worth of businesses, since the outbreak of Coronavirus in the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Rivers State government directed a complete lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Mr Eugene Nwauzi, the state chairman, Nigeria Hotel Association, Rivers State chapter, told newsmen in Port Harcourt during a one-day meeting/training with the Rivers State Inter-ministerial Committee on Covid-19.

Nwauzi said that the aim of the meeting was to train managers of hotels in the state on measures to curb the spread of Coronavirus in the state.

“We have lost over N15 billion businesses in the state in over one month, on hospitality, tourism and travels because of Covid-19.

“Business has been at its lowest ebb. Some hotels have shut down; events, bars, swimming pools, public fitness centres, travel agencies, all shut down, so cumulatively when we did the analysis it’s over N15 billion,” Nwauzi stated.

The chairman said that hoteliers were not paying taxes as the Federal Government had said they should not pay for now due to the effect of the pandemic on the economy.

“The effect of low patronage has made some hoteliers to send their staff on compulsory leave.

“We are the worst hit industry by this pandemic, so we started with the preventive measures about a month ago because our workers are vulnerable, before the state government’s intervention started, which is also commendable,” he said.

Mr Paulinus Nsirim, the Commissioner for Information and Communication, commended the state chairman of the hoteliers association  for the initiative of spreading the message of prevention of Covid-19 across all hotels in the state.

Nsirim urged all those in the hospitality industry to key into the agenda of the state government in the fight against the spread of the virus, saying that government would not compromise the health of Rivers people for money.

Similarly, Dr Sabastian, Head, Infections Prevention and Control, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), talked on the mode of  transmission of Covid-19 and preventive measures to contain the spread.

Sabastian said that the transmission of the virus goes through an agent, who plays host as reservoir and transfers it from person to person.

She urged the public to regularly wash their hands with soap under running water, maintain social distance of at least two metres from the next person and use face masks.

 

 

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