An entrepreneur and the CEO De Latinos, a leading hospitality organisation in Abia, Emmanuel Okenini aka Bello has decried the prolonged curfew imposed in various cities of Abia including Aba and Umuahia, saying it is putting their business under existential threat., ABN TV report.
Okeini said at a time when the industry was gradually getting its foot back on the ground after the COVID-19 lockdown, the imposition of curfew in the state has posed another challenge, causing the industry owners, family, and staff to pass through financial difficulties.
In his verified Facebook page on Monday, De Latinos CEO while pledging support to the state government in its measure to deal with insecurity in the state, he appealed for an intervention to save their livelihood and means of survival.
While insisting that Hotel & Restaurant industry are in deep financial trouble in Abia, he said justice for them in the face of the security concerns in the state is needed.
He said, “With the Abia state government imposing night curfew, restaurants and similar establishments in the state are again staring at an existential crisis. After coming out of #covid-19, #endsars this curfew that is almost lasting 3months could be a final blow to many hospitality businesses in Abia state.
“It has been less than six months since the struggling hospitality sector found some footing after bearing the brunt of the strict nationwide lockdown for most parts of 2020. The sector suffered massive losses due to the stringent eight-month lockdown that was imposed to contain the pandemic’s first wave in Nigeria.
“We are doomed this time around if we are expected to be both, shut for business and not receive any relief. Shut us but do justice to the owners, staff, and their families. Take care of the salaries.
“The Hotel & Restaurant industry are in deep financial trouble and without the Government’s consideration, it will be staring at a catastrophic disaster.”
He continued, “As the situation stands, it seems that the curfew have triggered an existential crisis for the hospitality sector. Already neck-deep in losses due to the months of the stringent lockdown last year, most establishments do not have the financial capacity to withstand more restrictions.
“While the measures taken by state government seem inevitable because of the insecurity, they need to find a way to make this period easier for the struggling hospitality sector before it’s too late. We are pleading for help, restore our business, restore jobs and let the families of those who work in the hospitality industry have hope again.”
ABN TV recalls that the state governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu had about three months ago announced a curfew in parts of the state following incessant attacks by unknown gunmen on security personnel and formations.
At the moment, Aba the commercial centre, and Umuahia, the state capital are under 8pm to 6am curfew.
Ikwuano, Ohafia and Arochukwu are also under curfew.