The Ekiti State Hoteliers’ Association has assured Governor Kayode Fayemi of the willingness and readiness of its members to pay taxes and other legal levies to the state regularly, promptly as and when due.
Chief Samuel Korode, Chairman of the Association, gave this assurance at a meeting of the association held at Queens Court Hotel and Suites, Ado- Ekiti, on Wednesday.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Mr. Korode, however, called for the harmonization of multiple taxes being imposed on their members.
Korode said members of the association are responsible and patriotic business-minded people who understand that taxes and rates are necessary obligatory rites to be observed by individuals in the society.
He said the obligation will help in smoothening and lubricating the financial machinery of the government.
” We are ready to pay tax to the state, we shall pay tax to the state, our arguments and contentions are that we are being saddled with multiple taxes and rates. Our anger is that too many agencies are harassing us daily for multi taxes and levies.
“Our displeasure is the modus operandi of these agencies when they approach us for these taxes with the threat of closing down our business premises. They do not have a decent approach to the issue.
“We all know that it is not in the behavioural patterns of Governor Fayemi to inflict unwarranted pains and anguish on the people. And this he has displayed through the engagement of tourism stakeholders by his aides,” he said.
Korode lauded Gov. Fayemi for his keen interest and commitment in developing the tourism sector in the state, including through the initiation of sustainable tourism policy, vision and the appointment of seasoned personnel who know their onions to man the tourism sector
Korode also commended Gov. Fayemi for deeming it right to extend the COVID-19 palliatives to its members without being prompted by members.
He described the Governor as a caring person who appreciates the suffering and sacrifices made by his members during the lockdown months.
“We are happy that Governor Fayemi is not just talking tourism as a policy but acting tourism in his deeds and acts by the appointment of Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre who is diligently serving as a strong bridge between tourism stakeholders in Ekiti state and the government.
“Gov. Fayemi is taking the government to the people by the frequent interaction of his aides with tourism stakeholders and making the stakeholders have a sense of belonging and relevance.
“We have therefore decided not only to support his government but also to do the needful,” he said.
Chief Olatunji Akomolafe, President, Cultural Centre Hotels, also reinforced Korode’s demands, calling for the harmonization of the tax regime in the state since the amount being paid was going into the purse of the same government.
The meeting was attended by Governor Fayemi’s Senior Special Assistant on Tourism Development, Mr Ojo-Lanre, who commended members of the association for their maturity and approach to issues.
He assured them that Gov. Fayemi has a lot to offer them through manpower development, infrastructural enhancement and creating conducive environment for tourism to thrive.
He said that government will sustain and constantly facilitate interactive platforms for tourism stakeholders in Ekiti state as the members of the association are billed to hold another interactive session shortly with the Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Prof Rasaki Bakare.
Mr. Ojo-Lanre assured that Gov. Fayemi will do everything humanly, positively possible “to see that your businesses grow.
“We are very fortunate to have a tourism-friendly Governor in the person of Dr Fayemi who is committed to the planting of a vibrant and blossoming tourism sector in Ekiti state.”