Abia To Give Hospitality Industry The Enabling Environment To Boost State’s Economy

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Goveenor Alex Otti has expressed readiness to reshape the hospitality industry and tourism sector through creative strategies to boost the State’s economy.

The Governor stated this during a meeting with Members of Nigeria Hotel Association and Hotel Proprietors Association in Umuahia.

Represented by his Chief of Staff, Pastor Caleb Ajagba, Governor Otti said that he was desirous to develop and strengthen the hospitality industry as well as Tourism sector to meet global standards.

He said that the rebuilding agenda of his government was focused on achievement of even distribution of socio-economic development and added that the Hotel owners had a vital role to play in this regard.

“We are here to kick start what would be an enduring legacy in terms of reshaping the perception of Stakeholders in the hospitality industry. Also looking at creative ways to move the hospitality industry and one of the take away we are looking at , is building partnership with Stakeholders,” he said.

According to him, government cannot do everything but government would create an enabling environment for businesses to thrive.

He said that it is the responsibility of entrepreneurs to drive the process to boost wealth creation and assured that the government would create channels that would enhance the visibility of Abia’s hospitality industry on the digital space, and further drive the hospitality businesses to deliver world class services.

In his speech, the Commissioner for SME and Digital Economy, Dr Matthew Ekwuribe, urged Stakeholders in the hospitality industry to align with government’s rebuilding agenda.

Dr. Ekwuruibe said that plans were underway to build a website for hotels listing and booking , as well as connecting the hotels to Google Map, and added that the website would contain information about Tourism Centers  in Abia.

He said that the use of digital technology to reinvent the hospitality industry holds a lot of benefits such as increased visibility, enhanced ease of doing business, among others.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Information and Culture, Prince Okey Kanu, restated that the hospitality industry plays a central role in improving the economy of any State.

He maintained ,“the hospitality industry is central to any government that is interested in growing its economy” adding that “The relationship between government and the Hotel owners is a relationship that needs to grow into a partnership to transform the hospitality industry,”

In an address, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism and Entertainment, Mr Martins Justice, described the hospitality industry as the bedrock of the Tourism sector. He said that the government was working to build a hospitality industry that would meet the demands of the 21st Century as well as develop the Tourism sector

Contributing, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Kazie Uko, described the meeting as a deliberate effort by the government to transform the hospitality industry in the State. Mr. Uko said that the engagement between the government and stakeholders had created a viable opportunity to address the issues inhibiting the growth of the industry in the State.

Earlier, the National Treasurer of Nigeria Hotel Association, Mr Charles Ezeala and a Member of Hotel Proprietors Association, Aba branch,
Mr. Nnanna Ngwakwe, called on the State government to create an enabling environment for hotel businesses to thrive. They said that the government had a great role to play in assisting hotel businesses to thrive in order for the hospitality industry to be transformed.

They highlighted some of their challenges in hotel businesses in Abia to include; poor power supply, bad road network among others and called for the urgent intervention of the State government in addressing the challenges threatening the advancement of the industry in Abia . The Hoteliers appreciated the commitment of the Governor Alex Otti led administration in creating enabling environment in the State and boosting of their businesses and commended him for considering to hold meeting with them .