Travel Agencies and Tour Operators, under the aegis of the National Association Of Nigeria Travel agencies (NANTA), has called on the government to show more concerned and committed to the development of the sector
The leadership of the western zone of the association made the call while addressing journalists at the Zonal headquarter of the association on Tuesday, in Ibadan.
Mr Afolabi Hezekiah, the newly-elected Vice President, Western Zone said, “COVID-19 has paralyzed the sector as many of the operators are now at a loss.
“Since the lockdown order started, we have been locked out of business. Our job requires movement from one place to the other and we cannot move both locally and internationally.”
He maintained that the government should be ready to support with palliatives, materially and financially, to the members as well as giving them tax moratorium for the rest of the year so as to enable them to bounce back and stable.
“We don’t know how long the COVID-19 pandemic would last but we want a total consideration from the government. They should allow us to operate without paying tax for a considerable period of time.”
Mr Afolabi, while unveiling the plans of the new exco, said “part of our agenda is to organize a travel and tourism summit and meet with the governors and other stakeholders to sensitize them on the imports of tourism in Nigeria.
“We are going to continue where the immediate past executives have stopped. Dr Tokubo Dagunduro-led excos made frantic efforts to reposition the industry and we are not going to let their labour to be in vain.”
The Zonal Secretary, Mr Ajijola Bewaji in his brief remark said “we are the worst hit by this pandemic and the gravity of challenges this has put us into is enormous. We hereby appeal to the government to help us with whatever positive reforms that will enhance the growth of the sector.
Also, the Publicity Secretary of the Association, Mr Ajibade Olaleye Abiodun, while speaking on the issue said: “it is high time the government involved us in their plans for the tourism industry so that we can also bring in our experience into it and make everything to work perfectly well.
“As soon as the coronavirus is over, we would visit the seven states in the Western Zone, meet with the stakeholders to chart the way forward for in the travel and tourism sector.”