SWITZERLAND, JULY 06 – The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has urged the Federal Government to develop intervention plans for the hospitality sector.
In a statement on Monday, The Director-General, LCCI, Dr. Muda Yusuf, described the hospitality industry as a labour-intensive sector that had been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated containment measures.
He noted the hospitality sector was closely related, complementary and dependent on the aviation industry and required an urgent rescue plan as well.
Yusuf mentioned that hundreds of thousands of jobs are at risk in the sector estimated to be valued at N1.4tn as of 2019.
“This is not a sector that should be allowed to go under. This underscores the need for the government to mainstream the hospitality sector in the Economic Sustainability Plan,” the LCCI boss said.
“There should be specific intervention measures for the sector as done for the other critical sectors affected by the shocks of the pandemic.
“We propose that the measures outlined for the revival of the aviation sector should be replicated for the hospitality industry,” he added.
The DG noted that thousands of small businesses that depend on the hospitality sector as suppliers or service providers had been severely impacted by the pandemic.
According to him, “Poultry and fish farmers, for instance, have lamented the impact of the downturn of the hospitality business on their sales and profitability.
“The hospitality sector and restaurants are the biggest off-takers of the poultry and fish products in the economy.
“The food and beverages sector experienced similar fate. The breweries and bottling companies have suffered a major hit as a result of the stumbling fortunes in the hospitality business.”
The DG, therefore, called on the government to provide single-digit interest loans with long-term repayment plans for businesses in the sector.