The Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Ganiat Oloruntoyin Atekoja has met with hotel and other tourism establishments stakeholders on efforts of the State Government to regulate, standardise, certify and monitor operations of the hospitality establishments towards setting the standard that will protect and sustain the industry for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Speaking further at the meeting held recently at the Ministry, the Permanent Secretary said that the engagement is also an opportunity for her to interact with them one-on-one, saying “Our coming together today is to interact to know one another and discuss issues of concern to the industry”.
Atekoja informed the stakeholders that the State Government is determined to make Lagos the number one tourism destination in Africa hence its huge investment in the tourism and hospitality sector.
She disclosed further that the inclusion of Tourism and Entertainment as one of the capital developmental pillars of the THEMES PLUS agenda is a confirmation of the State Government’s commitment to the noble objective.
The Permanent Secretary averred that she was aware that the Lagos State Government has been supporting their efforts through some special interventions.
Atekoja said part of the mandate of the Ministry, through its Hotel Licensing Department, is the continuous enumeration and registration of hotels and hospitality outlets in Lagos State to create a database for planning, research and development of the sector
She said the State Government will continue to develop policies that will create the needed environment that will sustain the hospitality sector by providing the necessary infrastructures and assistance to support them. It’s expected that hotels and other relevant establishments will comply with the rules and regulations guiding the operation of Hotels and Tourism Establishment in the State.
She expressed her displeasure concerning the low registration and payment of renewal fees, saying that out of the numerous hotels in the nooks and crannies of the State, less than 40% have registered their presence with the Ministry and the few that had registered have not been consistent with the payment of their annual renewal fees.
She affirmed that the Ministry will not hesitate to close down any erring establishments and those defaulting in the renewal of their licences will have the names of their hospitality establishments published in the Newspapers.
She emphasised the importance of collaboration and partnership, stressing that it is one of the ways to create a conducive environment for tourists and visitors to the State
Also speaking at the meeting, the Director of Administration and Human Resources in the Ministry Ms. Toyin Ogunlana implored the stakeholders to come up with a single document that will contain all their expectations from the Ministry so that it can be looked into holistically.
Responding on behalf of other stakeholders, the President of the Hotel Owners and Managers Association in Lagos State, Mr. S. O. Alabi appreciated the Permanent Secretary for calling for the meeting. He, however, expressed the displeasure of the stakeholders on some government policies and regulations which the Permanent Secretary promised to look into and see how the Ministry can resolve them promptly.