FCTA begins registration, licensing of tourism, hospitality establishments

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The FCT Administration (FCTA) Social Development Secretariat (SDS) has secured ministerial approval to commence the registration and licensing of all tourism and hospitality establishments in the territory.

The Mandate Secretary of SDS, Mrs Hadiza Kabir, made this known at the tourism stakeholders sensitisation forum, held at the Community Hall of the SDS, on Thursday in Abuja

She said that the ministerial authority and sensitisation was very necessary, adding, ”because new areas that require to be incorporated under the tourism legislation have emerged.

“They include  the issue of multiple taxation, contravention of Land Use Act and other issues.”

Kabir also stated that the ministerial approval secured would guide the operation of the Department of Tourism, SDS, and ease the implementation of its mandatory function which hitherto lying fallow.

Kabir said that the registration of hospitality outfits implied the legal act of granting rights to a hospitality business to operate in the FCT geographical space in exchange for mild payment.

She said that presently, the Tourism Department of the SDS had data from previous enumeration exercises showing over 3,000 Hotel establishments, with more coming up daily in the territory.

Kabir said: “The Tourism Act, amplified by the ministerial approval/ authority will ensure the enforcement of the act.

“This will make it mandatory for all tourism and hospitality establishments in the FCT to be registered and licensed at a fee, without which they cannot operate in the territory.

” This fee has not been collected since 2023. The FCT was benefiting from the revenues derived from this exercise when the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) had the mandate to collect and share revenues accruing to it in this effect.

“But, this has stopped following the devolution of such powers on the state of the Federation and the FCT by the Supreme Court Judgement of July 19, 2013.

“The implication of this is that the FCT will take over from the NTDC.”

The mandate secretary said that the registration and licensing of tourism and hospitality establishments would ensure control and standardisation of the industry in line with the International standards.

Kabir added that establishments that acquired the license would be listed in the Tourism Compendium which would be made available to all tourists and visitors to the FCT at the point of entry.

According to her, establishments must meet certain requirements which will accompany their application forms before they are registered and licensed to operate.

Earlier, the Director, Tourism Department, SDS, Mrs Marie Ochonue, stated that since 2013, the FCT had never collected a dime from any hotel for the sake of registration.

She said: “Therefore, we want to start with immediate effect.”

Ochonue added that the law governing hotels registration in Nigeria dated back to 1937, when the first hotel was establishment in the country.

She said: “But in the FCT, when I came in as the Director of Tourism Department, i noticed that all hotels, about 3,500 operating in the FCT, none of them is registered and a lots is happening in these hotels.

“Some people will just convert one part of their room and is a hotel and insecurity bounds everywhere.

“Therefore, there is need for us to harmonise the operation and activities of hotels in the FCT.

” Therefore, we want to start with immediate effect. We may or may not ask for the arrears depending on the outcome of the interactive forum that hotel operators requested that we have with them.

” But, here we are FCT under tourism department we are ready, we are willing and we are about to start hotel registration in the FCT with immediate effect.”

Responding, Mr Nkereuwem Onung, the President, Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), appealed to the Social Development Secretariat to deepen consultation and interface with tourism stakeholders in the territory with a view to find a common ground.

” I believe that we will always agree to move the business forward and make sure that the FCT remains the best for us.” 

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