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Lagos hoteliers commend Sanwo-Olu for N1 billion loan support

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Sanwo-Olu

Hoteliers in Lagos State have commended the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the N1 billion capital for investment that he announced recently to support the stabilisation of the sector following the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic.

The hoteliers on the platform of the Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos (HOMAL), said its members are grateful for the gesture of the forward-thinking Governor.

According to President of the Association, Chief Samuel Alabi, “We are grateful to the State Government for this wonderful move and the money will give members a breathing space and the worries of going to their banks for loans that many are not willing to embark upon because of the high interest rates.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu announced the approval of the loan recently at the 6th Lagos Corporate Assembly held at the Banquet Hall in the State House, Alausa. The Governor said the investment was required to bolster the hospitality sector by providing key operators in the tourism business with soft loans to boost their capacity in driving growth.

The initiative, Sanwo-Olu observed, is necessary to position the tourism  business as a new frontier for job creation and economic prosperity in the post-Coronavirus era.

“The seed capital will be domiciled in the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF),” the Governor said, adding that the funds will be made available specifically to Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the sector.”

Sanwo-Olu said the State would also be collaborating with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to further create access for funds to support the hospitality business.

The event with the theme: BOS Meets Business, was attended by the captains of industry, manufacturers, and members of Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN).

Chief Samuel Alabi also stressed further that as announced by the governor, beneficiaries of this fund will go through screening inline with the requirement of the agency. Before the announcement of the N1 billion loan support of the hospitality sector, HOMAL had called on the State Government for support to its members.

HOMAL chair noted then that going by the large number of hotels in Lagos and a large number of employees that could be affected by paucity of funds in the sector, failure to receive government palliatives could result in a massive loss of jobs and the resultant increase in the crime rate in the state.

He said to bring their members back to business, the government should consider some palliatives like the creation of Tourism Development Funds for their members, the fund for reopening expenses and repurchasing existing loans that could not be serviced due to cessation of revenue from their business among others.

Chief Alabi equally appreciated the directives of the Executive Governor allowing restaurants to open for in-service to customers with effect from August 14th which will no doubt improve the sales and revenues of members of the Association.

He implored the ever-considerate Governor to further look into the reduction of some taxes, levies, and charges for the current year as listed by the Association in its previous letters to the State Government.


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