Multiple Taxation: Hotel owners in Abuja task FG on harmonisation of taxes

The Hotel Owners Forum Abuja (HOFA) has asked the federal government to harmonise taxes in the hospitality industry, in line with the global trend.

Oluwafunmilayo Kazeem, President, HOFA said this in an interview in Abuja on Friday, adding that such harmonisation would boost revenue generation for hotels and government.

She also appealed to the Abuja Metropolitan Area Council (AMAC) to ensure hotel taxes were harmonised in the territory, saying that hotels were paying about 29 different taxes but with the Memorandum of Understanding signed with AMAC, the taxes were reduced to 9.

She said that the taxes included Radio and TV License, Sign Post, Liquor License, Mobile Advert, Environmental Sanitation and Tenement Rate.

“Others are Food Handlers Test, Premises Inspection, and Food Handling Inspection and Certification,” she said.

Mrs Kazeem said members of the association had no difficulty in paying taxes as they were law abiding citizens but that multiple taxation from different government agencies were negatively affecting the industry.

“We have different government agencies coming to collect same tax. For example, AMAC and Abuja Environmental Protection Board (AEPB) on waste disposal and recently, Public Health also came with tax on food handling test and water.

“Each agency is claiming jurisdiction and we are suffering. Most time, they come with security personnel and harass us and our customers in the name of tax collection.

“More so, AMAC and AEPB seem to be confused on specific areas of jurisdiction, because they cross each other’s boundary.

“AEPB is expected to handle the city centre and AMAC suburbs like Apo, Nyanya and Karimo on waste disposal matter but they don’t stick to their areas and we keep getting court summons and penalties,” she said.

The HOFA leader said that the taxes should be harmonised so that when hotel owners pay tax to a body approved by government, it would take care of the other agencies.

She, however, commended President Bola Tinubu for creating the Ministry of Tourism to ensure that the hospitality sector was given 100 per cent supervision.

On sharp practices, Mrs Kazeem said there were some hotels that do not have a name and signage, hence evade tax, because they were not known to AMAC, AEPB, FIRS and Corporate Affairs Commission.

“A lot of them told us that they don’t need to have a name or signage, but signage is very important for any establishment. We have complained to the Police, Department of State Services and Nigerian Immigration Services to address the matter.

“This is because a hotel with no name or signage may be a hub for criminals.

“I appeal to them to join HOFA, because the more the merrier; the louder our voices when we are calling on government to help us.

“Hiding and evading tax can be very dangerous, the day they will be fished out, they will pay what may eventually shut down their hotels,” Mrs Kazeem said.

On identification, the HOFA president called on the government to enact laws that would ensure guests properly identify themselves before lounging to hotel.

“There are people who would not want to properly identify themselves and when you insist, they walk away to hotels with no name or sign post, making us to lose business.

“With the tourism ministry, the minister will focus and dedicate time to tourism and hospitality this will move the sector to the next level and place Nigeria on the global map.

“Also, with the new ministry, we hope that the classification of hotels in the country will be achieved and there will be  harmonisation of room rate if possible,” he said.

On tourism, Mrs Kazeem noted that Nigeria had lots of attractive sites, resorts, monuments and cultural festivals that could attract foreign exchange to improve the value of the currency.

She added Nigeria’s cultural festivals and tourism sites on international cable televisions should be promoted to attract tourists from across the world.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top