Sunday, 23 June 2013

Multiple taxes may force Nigerian hotel proprietors out of business – Association

The association called for better understanding from the government.

The Hotel Owners Forum Association (HOFA) said on Saturday that multiple taxes on hotel proprietors by government agencies could cripple Nigeria’s hospitality industry.

The President of the Association, Onofiok Ekong, gave the indication in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said the multiple taxes could force hotel proprietors out of business in the country, if immediate solution was not provided.

“Hotel operators are faced with daunting challenges; apart from losing members of the association through closure and outright change of purpose.

“The lamentations of the existing ones over multiplicity of taxes can only be ignored to the detriment of the economy,” he said.

Mr. Ekong said government needs to engage all stakeholders in a holistic discourse to enable it understand the magnitude and dimensions of the challenges facing the industry.

“This will help to bring out recommendations that will help Nigeria have a more investment-friendly tax regime,’’ he said.

The president called on the Federal Government to take all necessary steps to reverse the current trend. He said hoteliers pay a variety of taxes, which had made it so difficult for them to stay afloat.
The taxes, according to the association president, include the consumption tax, value added tax, company income tax, withholding tax, health certificate, and waste operation permit. Others are vehicle emission fee, contravention charges, business premises and administrative charges for environmental audit.

Mr. Ekong said that the multiple taxes had contributed to the increased charges by hotel operators in the country, saying that the numerous taxes were affecting the growth of the industry.
He said that the hospitality industry contributes greatly to the nation’s economy through payment of such taxes being collected by government agencies and called for urgent intervention and incentives to operators to enable the hotels stay afloat.


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