By Festus Fifen.
In response to series of violations associated with the Abuja land-use laws from those in the hospitality business within the Nigeria capital, The Abuja Metropolitan Management Council (AMMC) says it would take all necessary punitive measures against hotels operating in residential areas in Abuja after expiration of a two-wheek ultimatum given to them.
Speaking while having on-the-spot assessment of the level of violations, AMMC Coordinator, Tpl Umar Shuiabu listed some of the measures to include shut down of the facilities and revocation of titles.
Shuiabu explained that the renewed clamp down against erring hotels, guests houses and motels, among others in the FCT, was to help curb insecurity in the nation’s capital.
Regretting that these unregistered hospitality facilities provided avenues for criminal elements to hide and perpetrate their crimes, Shuiabu insisted that all hotels, and the likes, must henceforth profile all their guests and liaise with relevant security agencies with a view to nipping the crimes and criminalities in the bud.
According to him, “The FCTA has observed with great concern that some random persons altered their land use from the initial approved purpose to hospitality purposes, many of these contraventions are residential quarters that were converted to hotels, brothers etc. These constitute security challenges in the entire territory.
“Also identified is that many criminal elements disguise themselves and check into some of these hospitality services as guests and hide out before and after carrying out their nefarious activities.
“These property owners are operating hotels without following the appropriate procedure of acquiring all necesary approvals from the relevant agencies of the FCT Administration”.
The Coordinator therefore listed some of the conditions for operating such facilities to include: “All hospitality and tourism establishments such as hotels, guest Inns, guest houses, bed and breakfasts must be registered and licensed with the Social Development Secretariat; every hospitality operator must profile all guests and visitors with ‘verifymynin’ App”.
He also stated that all operators willing to comply with its guidelines should use available window (one week) for registration, adding that such operators must be responsible for their own internal security arrangements.
Warning all operators to comply, the Coordinator said: “We wish to reiterate that it is not business as usual. Those who have formed the habit of breaking extant laws of the FCT should know that there is no place for them to hide”.
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