Nyesom Wike, the governor of Rivers State has stated that the closure of hotels and other businesses is a drain on the state’s finances but is a painful decision that has to be made.
Speaking on the closure of hotels and other business in the Executive Chamber of the Rivers State Government House when the executives of the Nigeria Hotels Association Rivers State Chapter led by Eugene Nwuzi paid him a courtesy visit, Governor Wike said the closure of business is a difficult decision that has to be made for the safety Rivers people.
Governor Wike said most COVID-19 cases in Rivers state are oil company workers who lodged in hotels after returning from oil rigs.
He said hotels are closed because the tracing and control of the spread from cases found in hotels is more difficult.
Responding to a request by the hoteliers for hotels to be reopened Governor Wike said he has had several similar requests from friends and respected statesmen who are also hoteliers but the safety of the people of the state must be the priority consideration.
Wike assured them that hotels would be reopened as soon as the state’s Security Council fashions out ways to reduce the risks from their operation.
Earlier, the chairman of the Nigeria Hotel Association Rivers State Chapter, Eugene Nwuzi said without the effort of the governor in fighting COVID-19, Rivers State would have had a severe COVID crises.
He appreciated the Governor for the patronage which hotels in the state received from events that were held in the state
He requested more regulations, standardization, and grading of the industry by the government.
Nwuzi went on to reveal the hoteliers association has had several training for its members in collaboration with the state’s Ministry of Information, Health, Culture, and Tourism on how to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in hotels within the state.
He assured that members of his association would ensure full compliance with safety protocols for hotels when they are permitted to re-open in the state.