Classification, Registration, and Licensing of Hotels and Tourism Establishments Bill passed by AKHA

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Mfonobong Ukpong

A bill for a law to provide for the classification, registration and licensing of hotels and tourism establishments in Akwa Ibom State has been passed into law by the State House of Assembly. The bill seeks to among other things, ensure greater control and regulation of the hospitality and tourism business through the licensing of operators of hospitality and tourism-related establishments in the state.

The bill which is sponsored by the member representing Mbo State constituency, Hon. Samuel Ufuo was passed by the lawmakers on Tuesday after scaling third reading on the floor of the House.

Lawmakers had considered the report of the House Committee on Commerce, Industry and Tourism, submitted by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Gabriel Toby who noted that the bill which was harmonised will greatly enrich the hospitality and tourism industry in the state. The assembly later dissolved into a committee of supply for further consideration of the committee’s report.

While passing the bill, the House observed that the hospitality business and tourism have become important sectors that impacts tremendously on the socio-economic development of any society, and that they have the twin benefits of boosting income generation and job creation. The bill which is passed by the legislature has harmonized the existing tourism board law with the instant law.

Reacting, the Speaker of the House, Barr. Onofiok Luke said the passage of the bill was in line with the legislative reforms set out by the 6th Assembly. He observed that the tourism sector remains a major driver of development, and hailed the lead sponsor of the bill, Hon. Ufuo and the entire members of the House for being committed to their legislative responsibilities.

“The passage of the bill is in line with the legislative reforms we have set for our selves in the 6th assembly. Tourism drives development, and you cannot about boosting the tourism sector in the state without providing the legal framework towards our drive of making our state a destination of choice”.

Speaking with Assembly Correspondents in his office shortly after the day’s plenary, the sponsor, Hon. Samuel Ufuo who expressed delight that the first bill he has sponsored as member of the House of Assembly in his first term has scaled through legislative scrutiny and has been passed by the House. The first term lawmaker who is the Chairman, House Committee on Education said the bill will boost revenue generation in the state and would also build investors confidence in the state.

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