13th December, 2010
Lagos State is planning to regulate and classifyÂ the hospitality industry toÂ further the state’s mega city goals.
This was made knownÂ by Senator Tokunboh Afikuyomi, Commissioner for Tourism andÂ Intergovernmental Relations, at the Lagos Tourism Lecture series held at the Eko MixÂ Studio House, Lateef Jakande road, Ikeja. The lecture was titled Regulation,Â Classification And Standardisation Of Hospitality Industry
The guest speaker, Mr. TrevorÂ J. Ward, Managing Director, W. Hospitality Group,Â international experts in hotels, tourism and cuisine, who was represented byÂ Damilola Adepoju, said with the level of growth of the industry in the past decade,Â it is imperative that there should be a legal frame work to regulate the industry.
The new policies that are being introduced would ensure that new entrants andÂ existing properties in the market are properly registered and monitored by theÂ authority.
“It is important that hospitality establishments operating in Lagos are regulatedÂ to ensure standards especially in the area of safety, sanitisation and foodÂ hygiene,” he said.
According to Afikuyomi, hotels, restaurants are meant to be licensed. He said:Â â€œTheÂ process of ensuring that Lagos joins the rank of world-class cities, in terms of itsÂ hospitality industry, need not be a tedious task. In fact, it is important that theÂ authorities ensure that the regulation and standardisation process does not becomeÂ too cumbersome for business.
“The industry here is still a growing one and care must be taken that policiesÂ intended to help grow the industry do not end up scaring away potential investors,â€Â Adepoju stated.
A new hotel just applied for classification within three months of commencingÂ operations while already existing hotels may opt for classification at any stage.Â The classification is valid for five years,â€ she said.
According to her, the grading of these establishments is also a crucial step toÂ enable the budding industry in Lagos join the ranks of world-class cities.
These processes are not just a global trend, but a norm. However, Lagos has theÂ benefit of learning from mistakes made by counterpart cities around the globe andÂ choosing a system that can best serve and be adapted to local market.