A number of hotels located in what is popularly called Federate Site/Services and World Bank areas of Owerri, including Jardin De Rose Hotel and four others, are facing severe threats to their business operations due to bad network of roads and poor drainage that makes it difficult for customers to make their way to the decent accommodation, security and quality services by way of cuisine that they provide.
For instance, Jardin is regarded as a place that provides family vacations, reunions, parties, weddings, corporate retreats but this is now being threatened by harsh and unfavourable environmental condition that may put it out of business, along with the other hotels located in the area, Lawrence Ibe, the managing director and chief executive officer, told Business A. M. Close to Jardin De Rose are four other top-rated hotels that are also threatened by the challenging environment, erosion, waterlogged and water percolated road networks, Business A. M observed.
The drainages were filled with grasses, weeds, debris and are hosts of other animals including dangerous reptiles, Business A. M. investigation showed. In a tone that depicted unhappiness over the Imo State government’s neglect of the area where almost all the once-thriving businesses were said to have been crippled due to harsh economic environment, Nwadiuto said: “We have a lot of challenges which the government should have handled; we have a lot bad road networks here. During raining season, as we are in it now, no guest or customer comes into this place except those who know you. “This is because the hotel and hospitality industry needs good environment to thrive; so, without good and motorable road networks and others, the sector will die,” he lamented.
In expressing his worry further over the continued government neglect of the roads, of which he said every government has used for politicking, he said: “We need good and motorable roads in this area, the hotel and hospitality sector of the economy goes along with good infrastructural development, but this area has been denied good infrastructure.
“If somebody is coming here he expects to see good roads to ply on and street lights in the night, but when some of these things are not here, he will not come because there are no good infrastructural developments to entice him and boost our business”. He further bemoaned the multiple taxation facing hoteliers in Imo State.
According to him, “a lot of government revenue agencies send their agents who come in turns with one type of bill or the other, even the ones you have already paid. And when you are not selling, how can you take care of the multiple bills, pay your staff and take care of other things including servicing generators?” He asked.
He was also worried over the epileptic power supply by the Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) that sends what he described as unwarranted huge bills monthly. “But in the alternative, we have 24 hours of light for our guests and customers using our generators but the consequences are that much money is spent on buying of diesel and servicing generating sets,” he stressed.