NewsOver 200% Electricity Tariff Hike Unacceptable – HOFA

Over 200% Electricity Tariff Hike Unacceptable – HOFA

May 20, (THEWILL)- The Hotel Owners Forum Abuja (HOFA) has described the 300 percent electricity tariff increment for Band A Customers as unusual and unacceptable.

This was contained in a statement signed by Mrs Funmi Kazeem, President of HOFA, in collaboration with six other union negotiators across public and private industry over the weekend.

According to the information, the collaborative bodies include the Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry(ACCI), the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria(FTAN), the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria(MAN), and the National Consumer Advocacy in Nigeria (NECAN).

Others are the Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria(HATMAN), the Association of Professional Chefs Nigeria, and the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria.

Speaking during the joint briefing in Abuja, Mrs Kazeem, who spoke on behalf of the coalition, noted that such a move would have a greater impact on businesses, as well as the economy.

However, she noted hotels play a vital role in advancing tourism activities, creativity, and innovation. “As taxpayers, we fulfil our civic duties, contributing significantly to government revenues and supporting essential public services.”

More so, she said these industries offer employment opportunities to thousands of individuals and families in a way that fosters economic empowerment and social cohesion. This explains that the collaborative body needs support from the government to keep the good working afloat.

“Our contributions extend beyond financial realms; we serve as pillars of community development, cultural exchange, and economic vitality.

“Since the onset of the pandemic, Abuja hotels have faced plummeting occupancy rates, dwindled revenues, and heightened operational costs associated with enhanced health and safety protocols. Yet, we have remained resilient, prioritising the safety of our guests and staff while striving to maintain the highest standards of hospitality excellence.

“Nevertheless, the recent surge in electricity tariffs threatens to undermine their various industry’s recovery efforts and jeopardise the ability to sustain operations in a post-pandemic landscape.

“The sudden increase in energy cost, places an immense strain on our establishments, eroding profit margins, and hindering our ability to invest in essential upgrades, innovations, and guest amenities.

“Furthermore, compliance issues stemming from the tariff hike exacerbate operational challenges, diverting valuable resources away from core business functions and inhibiting our capacity to adapt and thrive.”

In addition to these challenges, she said the members are already grappling with multiple taxes and issues associated with the old model Abuja master plan. “They ought to have been redesigned taking into consideration the rapid development and innovation in the FCT which can further bring about more hotels such as bed and breakfast, guest houses, apartments amongst others.”

Also, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT), HOFA, Chika Chejina, said hotels of 20 rooms that were hitherto billed N1 million per month, were now billed N3.5 million per month, while those of 40 rooms, previously charged N2 million monthly are now paying N7.5 million per month as tariff.

He urged the government to urgently intervene, saying should this situation not be taken into consideration, in a couple of months, many of the hotels will close shop and throw their workers into the labour market.

Janefrances Chibuzor, THEWILL
Janefrances Ebere Chibuzor is a Tourism Writer at THEWILL

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