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Business News Mon, 6 Apr 2020

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NHAG petitions govt to rescue its industry from imminent collapse

The National Hospitality Association of Ghana (NHAG) has appealed for government and its related agencies to address the unprecedented revenue losses and attendant mass layoffs threatening survival of the industry amid the COVID-19 upsurge in Ghana.

A statement issued in Accra and signed by the NHAG Executive Secretary, Theodore Dzeble, said as the fourth-largest industry and foreign currency earner in Ghana, the hospitality industry provides jobs for tens of thousands of Ghanaian households and families across the country. Unfortunately, the industry is among those most overwhelmed by the pandemic.

The National Hospitality Association of Ghana (NHAG) recognises measures announced by President Nana Akufo-Addo to salvage the industry – including a proposal to inject GH¢3billion for the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and hospitality sectors, in addition to a six-month moratorium on principal repayments to the banks.

While commending government for its prompt response to addressing peculiar challenges in the industry, it is the Association’s view that the announced measures are not far-reaching enough. Consequently, the Association proposes the following comprehensive back-up actions to rescue the industry from a total meltdown. Specifically, we urge government to:

Reduce utility and water tariffs by at least 65%

*Suspend the Tourism Levy of 1%, and use current reserves to aid in hotel bail-outs.

*Reduce the Output Rate for hotels to match the 3% Input Rate paid by all suppliers.

*Reduce property rates by 50%.

*Suspend EPA/GHAMRO/ARSOG charges until further notice.

Negotiate with SSNIT to pay 50% salary of employee over a period of six-months.

*Suspend unions’ annual salary increment requests.

*Mitigate import duties on Food and Non-Food Products.

*Suspend rental charges of commercial tenants for at least 6 months.

The Association believes the above measures will provide further safeguards for the industry, and prevent an unmitigated collapse that could wipe out all the economic gains made by government over the last few years.

Source: B&FT Online

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