Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State Government will in no distant time embark on hotel personnel audit to ascertain staff strength as well as inspect hotel manifest to ensure that unauthorized persons like kidnappers and other wanted elements are not harboured in hotels across the state.
The state commissioner for Diaspora Affairs, Culture, Tourism and Indigenous Artworks Sally Mbanefo stated this in an interface with hotel owners in Anambra state at the conference hall of the secretariat complex Awka on Monday.
She said government would embark on hotel inspection, registration, certification and grading. She also said that government would ensure that guests in hotels have passports for proper identification and documentations pointing out that a hotel was shut down in Enugwu-Ukwu Njikoka local government area for unwholesome activities.
According to Mbanefo, government is aware that hoteliers are concerned about infrastructure like electricity, access roads to hotels and some others but informed players in the hospitality industry that Governor Willie Obiano had graciously approved for distribution some electric transformers to communities where some of the hotels are located to improve electricity supply.
The commissioner maintained that the overall intent was for the hotel operators to provide the best quality hotel services for travellers and tourists seeking Anambra state as choice destination for leisure and relaxation adding that government was poised to create an enabling environment for the hospitality industry to thrive.
Although the hoteliers raised the issue of environmental taxes and some other taxes and levies they were compelled to pay at intervals by government agents, the Chairman of the Anambra State Board of Internal Revenue Mr. David Nzekwu who was part of the meeting, said there was need to register all the hotels in the state with the internal revenue service to streamline taxes and levies.
He explained that by law every business in the state was expected to register with the board of internal revenue within six months of commencement of operations.
Nzekwu noted that the interface was a veritable platform for hoteliers to bare their minds as to what their challenges are as well as how best government should respond to those critical issues pointing out that the advantage of registering their businesses with the state revenue service was to identify as well as assist them in carrying out their tax obligations to avoid incidences of double and multiple taxations.