The National Hospitality Association of Ghana (NHAG), is calling 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.
This is to enable the industry protect jobs and ensure that hospitality services can be maintained as the country continues to fight the spread of the novel Coronavirus.
According to the Association, the economic situation facing the hospitality sector as a result of the novel Coronavirus pandemic is severe, as business activities has deteriorated even before the three week partial lockdown.
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.
“Many restaurants and eateries are currently operating between 5 to 10 percent of their total capacity. Some have reported no business at all during this period, forcing them to more or less close down their business. Others have had to disengage the services of the majority of their staff in the absence of business to compensate them. Others have had to scale down salaries to try to cope with the global shock.”
In a statement issued by the Executive Secretary of the Association, Theodore Dzeble, she stated that, “the industry is in need of urgent life support by the government in order to prevent further job losses to Ghanaians and the total collapse of the sector.”
The Association also called on government to suspend rental charges for commercial tenants for at least 6 months, as well as the Tourism Levy of 1%, and use current reserves to aid restaurants and eateries.
Among other demands, they are asking government to reduce property rates by 50% and suspend all charges, including VAT and related taxes until further notice.
They further asked for a suspension on Union annual salary increment requests and mitigation of import duties on Food and Non-Food Products
The Association believes the above measures would provide much needed respite to the industry and prevent an unmitigated collapse which could wipe off all the economic gains made so far by the government in the last few years.
Click here for the full statement:
Tourism and hospitality sector to benefit from GHS600m stimulus package
Already, The Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, has stated that players in the tourism and hospitality sector will benefit from the 600 million cedis stimulus package set aside by government to support Small and Medium Enterprises.
Although the three-week partial lockdown has been lifted, the ban on public gathering, as well as the closure of the country’s borders which are still in force, mean that travelers are not coming into the country to lodge into these hotels; and also conferences cannot take place, thereby reducing revenue.