By Polycarp Auta
Jos – Mr Nyam Dareng, the Chairman of the Plateau State House of Assembly committee on culture and tourism on Friday decried the deplorable state of government-owned hotels, describing them as ”eyesores”.
Dareng made the statement in Jos when the State’s Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Hospitality appeared before the committee to defend its 2017 budget.
He said that the famous Plateau and Jos hotels and other government-owned hospitality homes had been neglected over the years by past administrations.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Plateau and Jos hotels in 1980’s and 1990’s used to be conducive abodes for travellers passing through Plateau and even tourists coming into the state.
”Sadly, the two hospitality homes have been in bad conditions, with the roof of most of the buildings dilapidated and about to collapse.
NAN also reports that most of the chalets and rooms were rented out to families to occupy, hence deviating from its original purpose.
Dareng, who queried the Tourism Ministry for neglecting such revenue generation outfit, urged them to as matter urgency ensure repair the two hotels and make them functional.
”A lot of things are going wrong in this tourism sector, and as representatives of the people, we will not fold our arms and see things getting bad.
”For Christ’s sake government is supposed to be generating huge revenue from this sector, but our attitude towards government’s property is always poor; we lack maintenance culture.
”The state of the two hotels does not present us as the true home of tourism and hospitality, so we must do something quickly to revive those hotels by giving it a face lift,” Dareng urged.
The chairman also directed those occupying the hotels as tenants to vacate.
A member of the committee, Mr Jacob Kassam, also urged the Ministry to initiate programmes that would boost the tourism potential of the state.
Responding, the Commissioner in charge of the Ministry, Mr Peter Mwankon, assured the committee members that the hotels would be revived very soon and be made functional through public private partnership initiative.
”This was the situation when we came on board, but we are not resting on our oars,” he said.