In a bid towards enhancing internally Generated Revenue for the services of the State considering the current economic recession facing the nation, the Adamawa State House of Assembly has passed a bill for a law to provide for the licensing of hotels and tourism establishment in the State.
The bill which has scale through first, second and third readings at the House of Assembly and now awaiting the executive arm to assent on it to become a law, it was aimed at enhancing IGR to augment the shortfall from the Federation Account in funding the State.
Another merit of the bill if finally assented to is to improve tourism centres, attract investors and empower Ministry of Culture and Tourism to closely and properly identify and document all hospitality centres in the State, so that any area that is expected to generate revenue can be sanctioned or assisted to upgrade its services.
The bill which was sponsored by the Member representing Leko Koma constituency in the House of Assembly, Hon. Saleh Thomson was also to aid security agencies in the State by furnishing them with relevant information on the hospitality centres in order to help in checkmating crime and criminalities.
Speaking earlier while presenting the report of the house standing committee on commerce, industry, trade and cooperatives, Hon. Suleiman Alkali (Yola North constituency) commended the sponsor and co-sponsors of the bill for their foresight and useful ideas, describing the bill as timely considering the present economic condition of the State.
Hon. Alkali posited that when the bill is passed into law will increase the revenue base of the State to a reasonable standard, appealing to his colleagues to accord the bill accelerated passage being that it is capable of improving IGR thus sustain not only the ministry and parastatals, but the entire State.
He added that it would lay a solid foundation that will attract investors and put the State on the tourism map, explaining that the State Ministry of Culture and Tourism should be given full responsibility of registering hotels, tourism establishments, guest houses, inns, lodges, motels as tavern, night clubs and other civic centres as well as fast food outlets.
He pointed out that his committee discovered that the State was losing a lot of money from hotels and hospitality centres as a result of non- payment of taxes, hence the need to guard and check mate the activities of the affected areas in the State.
According to him, the ministry should properly account for revenue generated and the finances be deposited into government coffers, saying that hotels and hospitality centres are now the backbone tourism anywhere in the world due to its significance to the living standing of human beings.
But while moving a motion for the passage of the bill, the Majority Leader of the house, Hon. Musa Mahmud (Mayo Belwa constituency) urged his colleagues to support him and read the bill for the third time as it was in the interest of the State.
The Majority Leader told the hallowed chamber that the bill was coming at a time that the nation is facing economic crisis and looking inward to diversify ways to enable it run it day to day activities.
After reading the bill for the third time the Speaker Hon. Kabiru Mijinyawa who presided over the sitting directed the Clerk to prepare a clean copy for Governor’s assent.
Baring his mind on the importance of the bill to the State, the co-sponsor of the bill Hon. Emmanuel Tsamdu (Madagali constituency) said that the State stands to benefit from the bill because the funds generated would in turn ensure its services.
Hon. Tsamdu disclosed as a co-sponsor of the bill their intention was that 30 percent out of the money generated should be given to the Ministry of culture and Tourism for its day to day operation, adding from licensing hotels and tourism establishment is now worldwide practice.