Members of the Rivers State House of Assembly have called for a critical look at the proposed bill on the establishment of state hotel licence agency to avoid multiple taxations that would chase away investors in the state.
The lawmakers made their views known during the debate on the state Hotel Licence Bill, 2009 after it passed its second reading at the floor of the House, last Wednesday.
The lawmakers were of the opinion that having a hotel licence agency in the state would make the state’s law on tourism development ineffective, adding that the Tourism Bill passed by the House had already captured the intention of the proposed bill as well as the interest of the state in that regard.
Taken lead on the debate, Hon. Golden Chioma, (Etche I) while commending the sponsor of the bill for his courage, observed that page 19 of the bill if passed into law would create a difficult environment for hotel operators in the state.
According to him, the N1 million proposed charge imposed per room annually for five star hotels would adversely affect the operators of the business in the state, adding that the bill would not encourage the tourism programme of the present administration.
“Section 19 of the bill if passed into law, would make some hotels in the state like the Presidential Hotel not to be in existence. We are supposed to encourage investors and not to chase them out. The one million naira charges as proposed in this bill would make hotel business in the state a difficult one”, he stated.
He therefore, urged his colleagues to take a second look at the matter so as to encourage business sustainability in the state.
Also speaking, Hon. Henry Ogiri (Abua/Odual), Tamunosisi Gogo Jaja (Opobo/Nkoro) and Hon. Maureen Tamuno (Ogu/Bolo) stated that multiple taxes through the establishment of the licence agency would discourage hotel business as well as affect tourism development in the state.
The lawmakers suggested that relevant agencies and authorities should be consulted before passing the bill into law, so as to avoid unnecessary levies and taxes to be imposed on hotel operators as doing otherwise was capable of crippling hotel business activities in the state.
They also urged the House to tarry a while before passing the bill into law, adding that before a hotel was established in any state, it must pass a registration process through the National Tourism Development Board.
However, in their own views, Hon Chidi Lloyd (Emohua), sponsor of the bill and Hon. Hope Ikiriko (Ahoada West) explained that the essence of the bill was to document customers that check into hotels in the state.
The lawmakers were of the opinion that most of the crimes in the state were been perpetrated by some people who checked into various hotels in the state and carry out their nefarious activities without being noticed.
They opined that the bill when passed into law would promote sanity in hotel operations in the state. The lawmakers pleaded with their colleagues to give the bill the support it deserved so that the state would benefit from the intention of the bill.
In his ruling, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Tonye Harry who presided over the session, thanked the lawmakers for their contributions during the debate.
Hon Harry while committing the bill into the committee state directed the House Committee on Commerce and Industry chaired by Hon. Emmanuel Okatta to ensure that all the sentiments raised by the lawmakers on the bill were taken into consideration.
Yakassai Wants North To Cede Presidency In 2023
An elder statesman, Tanko Yakassai, has said it will be unjust for Northern Nigeria to still demand the presidency in 2023.
The Tide source reports that there have been heated debates among stakeholders in the nation’s polity over power rotation between the North and the South ahead of the 2023 general elections.
At the moment, prominent northerners like the former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, former Governor of Kano State, Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso, Governor of Sokoto State, Aminu Tambuwal; and a former Senate President, Bukola Saraki appear to be interested in the 2023 presidency.
But Yakassai in reaction to the declaration of interest by some Northerners said while he is not a card-carrying member of any political party, it would be an injustice to the South for northerners to aspire for the presidency after the expiration of the tenure of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2023.
He said, “How can it be that it is always us the Northerners that will rule? There is no justice in this matter, we rule, they (South) rule, that is justice.”
“I am wondering what the northerners will say to the people? What will they show to the citizens of Nigeria that they benefited or will benefit in order for them to give their votes?
“In the six to seven years, what have the northerners done? What achievement has the leadership accomplished that helped in the development of the country, its economy or any other development that helps the people?
“What major achievement do the northerners have that they can use to call upon all other Nigerians to give them votes again?”
The elder statesman said his interest in politics from the beginning had always been about justice, explaining that his support for President Goodluck Jonathan in 2015, was to make sure Nigeria went with the method of letting any president run his second tenure after his first; just like he said earlier.
He said that if the first four years of the tenure were not enough for the president to accomplish his goals, then eight years would be enough for him as long as he had the plan on how to accomplish them.
Pastor Rejects Ortom’s Car Gift
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State has recounted how Rev Samuel Alaha, who anointed him in 1992 with a prophecy that he would become governor of the state, rejected a car gift from him after the prophecy came to pass in 2015.
The governor, who made the disclosure, Sunday, during a sermon as the guest preacher at Faithway Gospel Ministries, Gboko, explained that he visited the cleric and presented the new car in appreciation but the vehicle was returned after a few days.
According to Ortom, even though Rev Alaha received the gift on the spot, he called after a few days to inform the governor that he appreciated the offer but begged to return it, saying he did not find it necessary.
Governor Ortom described the clergyman as a committed and true man of God whom he had known since 1980, lauding his zeal and commitment in service to the Almighty God.
Ortom pointed out that as Governor, he was determined to execute God’s counsel to people of the state at all times.
He admonished the congregation to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness and assured that “all other things will be added on to you.”
Governor Ortom also called on Christians to go back to the time when there was love towards one another “as it used to be in the past when we became Christians. True brotherly love is lacking today, that is why there seems to be conflict all the time.”
Touching on the unity in the family, the governor told couples to begin to show love towards one another to celebrate accommodation, tolerance and faith in God.
Ogun: PDP’ll Produce Next Gov – Ayu
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Iyorchia Ayu, has declared that the PDP would produce the next governor of Ogun State in 2023.
Ayu said considering the record, which according to him, shows that the PDP had produced the first PDP president in 1999, who hails from Ogun State, the state remains a PDP state.
Ayu said, this last Saturday while addressing a large crowd of PDP members at the party secretariat in Abeokuta.
Ayu, who was flanked by members of the national working committee, former governors, the leader of Ogun PDP, Oladipupo Adebutu, the State Chairman, Sikirullahi Ogundele, among others told the state Governor, Dapo Abiodun and the All Progressives Congress to prepare to leave the government for the PDP in 2023.
The chairman said the APC governments both at the federal and the states had made lives difficult for Nigerians, adding that it was time to vote the party out of power.
Ayu, who earlier held a private meeting with former President Olusegun Obasanjo, said he would be returning to Ogun to mobilise PDP members across all levels, as part of efforts to unseat the APC in 2023.
He said, “I only came to greet my boss and our father, President Obasanjo. I didn’t know that all my people are here. I will come back to mobilise the people of Ogun State in every ward, in every local government because in 2023 we shall produce a PDP governor in Ogun State after which we shall produce a PDP president who will make things better for you.”
In his remarks, Adebutu, who is a PDP governorship aspirant, reiterated his commitment to the development of Ogun State.
He said, “I am sacrificing my comfort for you, not because I need something to eat but I want to create a better tomorrow for you. I will continue to sacrifice for you and I bring to you this sacrifice and this solution. Let us be together. Do you agree with me?”
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