The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has called on the Federal Government to assist business owners in the tourism industry, to reduce the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Mr Nkereuwem Onung, National President of FTAN, made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, on Tuesday.
According to him, business owners in the sector were in need of ‘serious assistance’ from the government for their businesses to recover, considering the state of their financial losses.
Onung added that assisting them with funds would help to revive their businesses, as their businesses must be alive, before people can work there.
”The impact on tourism business owners has made most of Nigeria’s hospitality and tourism businesses to fall into the category of Micro and Small businesses; as such they will require external financial support to ride out the effects of COVID-19 on their businesses.
“While we are training skilled manpower to cover the gap created by the pandemic, we are asking government to please attend to the problems of the owners of businesses in the tourism and hospitality industry.
“The impact of COVID-19 on the industry cannot be over emphasised, thank God we are now getting to bring back the skills required.
“Beyond bringing back the skills, there has to be businesses for people to work. We are asking that those in the industry that have suffered unduly, due to the pandemic, should be assisted by the government, so that the flow will be complete,” he said.
He noted that when trained and skilled personnel were employed, there would be enough work for them to do in the industry, saying that government should consider providing palliatives for them as well, to facilitate their recovery from the pandemic.