Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declined a request by hotel owners to reopen their businesses, saying that the closure of hotels and other businesses is also a drain on the state’s finances but is a painful decision that has to be made.
Hotel owners said they have been hit hard by the economic impacts of the coronavirus and subsequent closure of hotels by the state government.
Speaking on the closure of Hotels and other business in Executive Chamber of the Rivers State Government House when the executives of the Nigeria Hotels Association Rivers State Chapter led by Mr Eugene Nwuzi paid him a courtesy visit, Governor Wike said the closure of business is a difficult decision that has to be made for the safety Rivers people.
Governor Wike said most Covid-19 cases in Rivers state are oil company workers who lodged in hotels after returning from oil rigs.
He said hotels are closed because the tracing and control of the spread from cases found in Hotels is more difficult.
Wike said he has had several similar requests from friends and respected statesmen who are also hoteliers but the safety of the people of the state must be the priority consideration.
Governor Wike assured them that hotels would be reopened as soon as the state’s Security Council fashions out ways to reduce the risks from their operation.
Earlier the Chairman of the Nigeria Hotel Association Rivers State Chapter, Mr Eugene Nwuzi said without the effort of the Governor in fighting Covid-19, Rivers State would have been had a severe Covid crises
He appreciated the Governor for the patronage hotels in the state received from events that were held in the state
He requested for more regulation, standardisation and grading of the industry by Government.
Mr Nwuzi revealed that the Hoteliers Association has had several trainings for its members in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Information, Health, and Culture and Tourism on how to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 in hotels in the state.
He assured that members of his association would ensure full compliance to safety protocols for hotels when hotels are permitted to re-open in the state.