Imo Hoteliers Cry Out Over Alleged Extortion


The Nigeria Hotels Association, Imo State chapter has appealed to the state governor, Hope Uzodimma to help halt the ongoing extortion of its members by reveuue touts and consultants.

The association said the extortion has dealt heavy blow on the hospitatlity industry in the state.

It said if within 14 days the state government fails to arrest the situation, hotels in the state might be forced to wind down.

The state chairman of the association, Mr. Chima Chukwunyere disclosed that the association was in good standing with the Imo State Internal Resources Service (IIRS) in respect of payment of taxes and other levies.

Chukwunyere said members of the association have often suffered in the hands of some criminal elements who besides extorting them seal up their hotels on trump-up charges.

 He cited the invasion and sealing of Harvester Hotel Limited by operatives of Environmental Transformation Commission (ENTRACO) over non-payment of Environmental Impact Analysis (EIA) fee to buttress his point.

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According to him, the commando manner the hotel was sealed precipitated anxiety among members of staff and guests of the hotel.

He explained that the collection of levy for EIA and Environmental Audit (EA) is the exculsive responsibility of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA) as ordered by the Appeal Court.

Chukwunyere regretted that in spite of the Appeal Court ruling of 2018 and the harsh economic environment, the operatives of ENTRACO could be so callous and insensitive to seal a hotel without a court order.

Also speaking, the secretary of the association, Michael Mbakwe  and General Manager of Harvester Hotel Limited, Uche Melody submitted that the Harmonized Demand Service Agreement between hotels and the state government has not been violated by members of the association.

They accused the ENTRACO officials of extortion and thuggery and urged the governor to act while the iron was still hot. 


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