The Mandate Secretary, Social Development Secretariat, FCT Administration, Hajiya Hadiza Mohammed Kabir said that SDS, Tourism Department has secured the Ministerial approval to commence the registration and Licensing of all Tourism and Hospitality establishments in FCT.
She disclosed this during a one-day Tourism Stakeholders sensitization Forum in Abuja
Hajiya Hadiza Kabir explained that the Ministerial approval will help to guide the operations of the Department and ease the implementation of this mandatory function which was hitherto over the years had been lying fallow
According to her, ‘The tourism Act, amplified by the Ministerial approval, Authority ensures the enforcement of the Act and makes it mandatory for all Tourism and Hospitality Establishments in FCT to be registered and licensed at a fee without which they cannot operate in FCT. This fee has not been collected since 2013’
The Mandate Secretary told the Tourism Stakeholders that, the Ministerial Authority and sensitization became necessary because new areas that require to be incorporated under the Tourism Legislation have emerged such as the issues of multiple taxation and contravention of Land use Act and other emerging trends.
She explained further that the registration will provide for control and standardization of the industry in line with international Standards. Establishments of who acquire the License would be listed in the Tourism compendium which would be made available to all Tourists and Visitors to the FCT at the point of entry. And that the Authority will have the power to enforce the Payment of the registration fees payable by applicants, prescribe offences and apply penalties amongst others.
Hajiya Kabir also said, at the moment, Tourism Departments has data from Enumeration exercises that show over 3000 Hotel Establishments and more are coming up daily in the FCT. She added that the strive is to develop Tourism and make the FCT a preferred Tourism destination.
On his part, the President of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN Mr. Nkereuwem Onung thanked the Mandate Secretary and her team for the sensitization and requested that the Mandate Secretary should make the Acts enabling her to take the actions she is informing the stakeholders about available for them. He also asked for a minimal charge for the hotel’s registration. FTAN President assured them that FTAN will continue to work with the SDS to promote tourism in the Federal Capital Territory.
At the end of the short meeting, the stakeholders agreed with the Mandate Secretary to hold a consultative meeting soon to deliberate on the way forward.