A bill for a law to classify, register and license hotels, night clubs, eateries and event centers in Akwa Ibom State has passed through second reading in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly.
The bill entitled Hotels and Tourism Establishment and Licensing Bill 2016 is sponsored by the member representing Mbo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Mr. Samuel Ufuo and 15 others.
Ufuo in his defense opined that the bill was designed to make up for the non-existence of a law which explicitly regulates the establishment of hotels and tourism centers in the State.
“The bill when passed will empower the Tourism Board to list or classify, register and issue license to hotel operators, and renew licenses for hotels that satisfy required standards”, Ufuo stated.
Under the regime of the bill, the Board will have the power to renew, revoke, suspend, cancel or transfer a license it granted.
The bill also empowers the Commissioner in the absence of the Board to administer and exercise functions prescribed in it.
The bill provides that before a hotel can be certified, it must first get clearance from the Chief Town Planning Officer, Chief Fire Service Officer and Chief Medical Officer of the State.
Ufuo said this will ensure standard, security and safety of members of the public who patronize such recreational facilities.
Speaking in support of the bill, the member representing Uruan, Mr. Aniekan Bassey, member for Eket, and Nsit Atai, Mr. David Lawrence and Mr. Mark Esset said the bill will curb multiple taxation and restore sanity in tourism business in the State.
They expressed believe that the bill will also bolster the IGR of the State.
The Bill classifies hotels into seven categories, 5-stars, 4-stars, 3-stars, 2-stars, 1-stars, recognized and unclassified, and spells out annual levies for each.
For 5-stars hotel, the Bill proposes a fee of N3, 000 per room per annum, N2, 000 per room per annum for 4-stars hotel, N1, 500 per room per annum for 3-stars hotel, N1, 000 per room for 2-stars hotel, while 1-stars shall be billed N800 per room per annum.
Hotels in the “recognized” category will pay a fee of N500 per room per year to the State Government, while those in the “unclassified” category will be charged N10, 000 per flat per annum.
For night clubs, a 3- Rosette shall be levied N30, 000 per annum, N25,000 for 2-Rossete, N20, 000 for 1-Rossete and N10, 000 for unclassified.
For eateries, a 4-crown restaurant will be levied N50,000 per year, N30,000 for 3- crown restaurant, N25,000 for 2-crown, and N20,000 for 1-crown restaurant.
Fast food under category A (those situated in Uyo, the State capital) shall pay N100,000 per annum, while those in category B(those situated at LGA’s headquarters) shall pay N20,000 per annum.
Extract from the bill shows that event centers with 500 seats capacity and above in the State capital shall be charged N50,000 per annum, while event centers within the State with less than 500 seats capacity shall be levied N30,000.
Event centers at local government headquarters shall be levied N20,000.