Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Managing Director of Hawthorn Suites, Abuja, Faruk Aliyu, has disclosed that hotel operators in Abuja pay minimum of 20 different taxes and levies to agencies of the government.
He was unhappy that aside the statutory taxes like Value Added Tax (VAT), withholding tax and few others, an average hotel operator in Abuja is forced to part with some huge money as taxes or levies either weekly, monthly or annually.
He told journalists at a press conference to announce the official opening of Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham, Abuja, that multiple taxes and levies are a big threat to businesses, especially hospitality and tourism businesses operating in Abuja.
He said: “There is need for government to create enabling environment if they want private businesses to thrive, create jobs and make significant contribution to the economy. “The taxes and levies are obviously counter productive. There are several of them that hotel operators are compelled to pay, and some of them are not recognised by law. Government ought to harmonise these taxes and levies for the sake of private investors. For instance, there are lots of government agencies that have no constitutional authority to impose levy on Nigerians. But they invade our premises on several occasions in company of security officials, demanding that we pay a certain tax or levy. It has had negative effect on our operations.”
Meanwhile, the grand opening, which will be done by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, at the weekend, comes after the hotel had undergone multi-million dollars renovation.