FCT to commence registration, licensing of Tourism, Hospitality Establishments
Towards making the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja a standardised tourist destination, the Mandate Secretary, Social Development Secretariat (SDS), FCT Administration, Hajiya Hadiza Mohammed Kabir has revealed that SDS, Tourism Department has secured the Ministerial approval to commence the registration and licensing of all Tourism and Hospitality Establishment in the city.
Kabir, who made the disclosure during a one-day tourism stakeholders’ sensitisation forum in Abuja, explained that the Ministerial approval would help to guide the operations of the Department and ease the implementation of mandatory function, which over the years had been lying fallow.
According to her, “The Tourism Act, amplified by the Ministerial Approval Authority, ensures the enforcement of the Act and makes it mandatory for all tourism and hospitality establishments in FCT to be registered and licensed at a fee without which they cannot operate in FCT. This fee has not been collected since 2013.”
The Mandate Secretary informed tourism stakeholders that the ministerial authority and sensitisation became necessary, “because new areas that require to be incorporated under the Tourism Legislation have emerged, such as the issues of multiple taxation and contravention of Land Use Act and other emerging trends.”
She further explained that the registration would provide for control and standardisation of the industry in line with international standards.
“Establishments that acquire the license would be listed in the tourism compendium, which would be made available to all tourists and visitors to the FCT at the point of entry. Also, the Authority will have the power to enforce the Payment of the registration fees payable by applicants, prescribe offences and apply penalties amongst others.”
On his part, the President of Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN Nkereuwem Onung appreciated the Mandate Secretary and her team for the sensitisation and requested the Acts to be made available for stakeholders.
While making a case for minimal charge for the hotels’ registration, FTAN President assured that the body would continue to work with the SDS to promote tourism in FCT.