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Lagos to unify tax payments in hospitality sector

Tax reform

In a bid to curtail multiple taxations, the Lagos State Government says preparations to unify tax payments in the tourism sector has been finalised.

The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts, and Culture, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, who stated this at a Stakeholders Engagement with Practitioners in the Hospitality Sector in lagos said the plans would help the state government lessen the tax load on company owners.

The commissioner also added that the government is striving to make the tourism and hospitality industry data driven, through the capturing of the entire hospitality sector on a database and digitizing registration processes as done in other climes pointing ️ out that the ministry no longer operate manually in its capturing process.

While seeking the cooperation of the stakeholders in the exercise, the commissioner said that it would create a seamless and memorable experience for tourists who depend on such data in critical decision on destination choices.

She was of the view that from local artisans to hoteliers, travel agencies, and transport providers, every stakeholder in the entire value chain has a crucial role to play hence the need to leverage on collective strengths to build a robust and resilient hospitality sector.

Mrs Toke Benson pointed out that the forum was aimed at addressing some challenges in the hospitality industry including the effects of covid 19 and adapting to the changing landscape by embracing new technologies and sustainable practices including emerging trends in the sector such as digital transformation, eco-tourism, and personalized customer experiences are reshaping the way the sector operates. 

She noted that It was imperative to stay ahead of these trends to remain competitive and relevant pointing out that sanctity and safety of establishments also comes into focus, drugs, vices and environmental nuisances play a major role and such must be curbed to further make Lagos a destination of choice.

 Earlier in first panel session with the theme “”Enhancing Compliance in the Hospitality Sector” which was made up of head of agencies whose mandates relate to the important sector from safety to environment to parking management and taxation where the heads of agencies shared their thoughts on how to synergize for a better hospitality sector, the General Manager Lagos State Safety Commission Mr Lanre Mojola said it is their requirement that a public facility has safety compliance certificates pointing out that not abiding by safety standards jeopardize the safety of others.

The General Manager Lagos State Parking Authority, Mrs. Olabisi Adelabu emphasized on the need for Lagos motorist’s to factor parking in their movement and consider parking lots in their building plans as these makes traffic management easy.

The chairman Lagos State internal Revenue Services Mr Ayodele Subair charged Lagos residents to pay their taxes and avoid short cuts or agents that alter and reduces the tax figures for them as this could result to exploits, pointing out that the state government already has accurate details of everyone .

High point of the event was question and answer sessions where the President of Hotel Owners and Managers Association of Lagos Chief Samuel Alabi and Some association of event planners in Lagos lamented on what they described as multiple regulations, taxation and registrations.