Heavy Taxation May Kill Hotel Industry
Hotel owners at Kenema city in the Eastern province of Sierra Leone have expressed their dissatisfaction over huge taxation from various agencies. (Photo: Chairperson Hon. Gladys Gbappy Brima, and Deputy Hon. Salamy Bockarie, Classification & quality control Manager from National Tourist Board Ibrahim Sillaty Turay left and Clerk of Committee Abdul B. Sannoh)
They raised this concern during the Parliamentary Oversight visit on Tourism and Cultural Affairs at their meetings alongside the Ministry of Tourism through the National Tourist Board (NTB) on 10th to Friday 14th July 2017.
This happened when hotel owners including Capitol hotel, Paloma, Luawa, Sinava, Ericson, Imperial, J & E Resort among others disclosed that their establishment may likely be destabilized due to over taxation from several agencies including Environmental Protection Agency EPA, Town council, City Council, National Revenue Authority NRA, Consumer Welfare Unit, Immigration department, Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Ministry of Trade and Industry, National Tourist Board, Ministry of Labor amongst others which according to them did are not benefitting anything but rather than exploiting them on a daily basis.
They appealed to the Committee and the Ministry of Tourism through the National Tourist Board to find ways of reducing this problem as they also cited electricity, water and fuel another major challenge towards the development of their investments.
Speaking on the importance of the visit, Chairperson Hon. Gladys Gbappy Brima Gbemoh representing Constituency 082 Moyamba district said, the purpose of the visit is to familiarize with every hotel establishment under her purview in order to rebrand accessibility and promote Sierra Leone as a preferred tourist destination.
She said that her Committee will not encourage exploiters but geared towards promoting national development.
She also expressed her dissatisfaction and warned hotel owners that are in the practice of depriving staff and workers welfare which she considered as under minding government efforts towards the sustainable growth of their families.
In his statement, classification and quality control manager from national tourist board Ibrahim Turay commended hotel owners for the much needed transformation achieved over the years.
By: Mohamed Y. Turay
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