Nigeria's HOFA appeals for tourism development fund

Transcorp Hilton, Abuja, Nigeria

The Hotel Owners Forum, Abuja requested that the federal government provide a development fund for tourism and hospitality for private sector investors to help expand the sector, the News Agency of Nigeria reported. 

"The loan can be given at a single digit interest rate to genuine investors in the sector," Dr. Chike Ezeudeh, the president of HOFA, said in an interview with the New Agency of Nigeria in Abuja. "The fund is absolutely necessary because presently, you cannot get loan from the bank; also even if you build a hotel, it needs constant renovation."

Dr. Ezeudeh told NAN that the fund could help investors develop tourist venues to encourage inbound tourists to support these sites across Nigeria. He also stressed that maintaining good hotels and tourist destinations in the country would encourage Nigerians to remain in the country for vacation instead of traveling to destinations in other countries. 

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Ezeudeh explained that the association employed and empowered aborigines of the Federal Capital Territory. Its members regularly support local and indigenous farmers by purchasing their food products to use in their hotels. In partnership with the Nigerian Tourism Development, the association planned to develop various tourism attractions. Then, it will use the aborigines as tour guides in their communities to educate visitors about their tourist sites and other side attractions.

"This job will empower them financially and reduce criminality; we are also planning to dig boreholes in some communities to provide portable drinking water for them," Ezeudeh told NAN. "If government can address the issues of double taxation that is negatively affecting our operations, we would be able do more in assisting the various communities in the FCT."