By Sunday John
Karu (Nasarawa State) – Hotels in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa State have decried low patronage caused the advent of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country.
Some of the hotel workers, who spoke when the team from the Media Advocacy West Africa (WAWA) Foundation, visited the area on Wednesday, counted their huge losses due to the lockdown ordered by government to contain the spread of the pandemic.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that MAWA Foundation, with support from Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), is implementing a project tagged “Human Right Abuse and Economic Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown in Communities”.
Miss Rita Uche, a staff member of Rovac Guest Inn, said the influx of customers to the hotel had reduced, lamenting that business was almost brought to its knees because of the pandemic.
She decried that before the pandemic, the business was doing well, but in the last three months, particularly during the lockdown, the organisation hardly made N500 daily.
She attributed the low patronage to guests’ fear of contracting the virus, as most people hardly used such public facilities again.
“Before the Coronavirus, we made money from sale of drinks, lodging, and our football viewing centre, but all that have stopped because of the outbreak of Coronavirus and we can’t make N500 a day.
“It is even worse as we are not making any money because of the pandemic, yet we are paying bills
“Before the pandemic, particularly at weekends, we hardly have vacant rooms in this hotel because they are usually booked by guests. But at the moment, the case is different and the business has since gone down.
“Customers no longer come to our hotel to lodge because they are afraid of contracting virus,” she said.
She, however, told MAWA Foundation that things were beginning to get better since the lockdown had been suspended and the commencement of foreign football matches.
On his part, Mr John Okoro of Bosvich hotel decried that the situation had rendered him “financially impotent”, because his salary was stopped by his employer.
Okoro, who said it was no fault of his employers, but due to biting economic situation occasioned by COVID-19, urged government act fast to save the situation.
“I have not received salary since COVID-19 started. Hunger wants to kill me and my family.
“So, I want to appeal to government to help the poor and vulnerable to come out of the difficulties they are facing as a result of the pandemic,” he urged.