The President, Nana Akufo-Addo, says government is in the process of designing a unique model of intervention for the country’s hospitality industry following the severe impact of COVID 19 on their operations.
According to the President, government’s intervention is more crucial in these times especially in the wake of challenges such as the low patronage of hotels and tourism sites.
Speaking at a meeting with players in the hospitality industry at the Jubilee House on Tuesday, Nana Akufo-Addo reiterated his administration’s commitment to ensure the survival of the hospitality industry in the face of the difficulties caused by the COVID-19.
“I think it is well understood that the hospitality sector has been one of the hardest hit. Everybody has been very badly hit by this pandemic. We as a government have to have a clearer understanding of where are, what we have, and then of course, to see to what extent our intervention can help redress the situation,” he said.
In April, the Ghana Hotels Association urged the government to support the payment of staff of its members who have been asked to stay home due to low patronage of their facilities.
Give us support
The President of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike, said hotel managers may be compelled to lay off workers and stop paying salaries.
“The stimulus package we are talking about is more or less about how to maintain our staff. A lot of the hotels have been able to pay salaries for the month of March, but the challenge is going to be one of April. Quite a number of them have shut down and the big question is what happened to the staff. So we are hoping that, if possible the government could support paying some of the staff members and keep them on the payroll till when things get better. We don’t want to lay off workers after all the investment in training and then when things change we have to go and recruit again which will be far more expensive. We are not asking for full salary support but something that can sustain them,” he said.
Some major hotels in Accra have already shut down their operations due to low patronage as the country’s borders remain closed to travelers.
COVID-19 impact: National Hospitality Assoc. calls on Gov’t for emegency support
The National Hospitality Association of Ghana (NHAG), recently called on government to negotiate with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to pay 50% salary of employees over a period of six-months as part of emergency assistance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Association made up of 60 mainline restaurants and eateries in Accra, Tema and Kumasi, says the prospects of a recovery for the industry is even becoming more remote each week.
Government has already offered some temporary relief to Ghanaians in the delivery of water and electricity services, as well as some tax incentives to frontline health workers and other groups.
It has received approval from Parliament to spend some GHS1.2 billion cedis from the Contingency Fund to support Ghanaians and revive the economy, alongside a $1 billion credit facility from the International Monetary Fund to fight the pandemic and revive the economy.
It has also allocated a loan amount of GHS600 million cedis to support struggling Small and Medium Scale enterprises.