Around 9,000 hotel and guest house employees operating under the Ghana Progressive Hoteliers Association (GPHA) have been made redundant due to lack of facility sponsorship.
The development is the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many facilities to shut down completely or operate at minimal capacity.
The national president of the association, Mr. Charles Adu-Gyamfi, who made it known, explained that the GPHA, which has 400 members, employed around 12,000 workers before the advent of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic last Wednesday when the association donated food and items such as Veronica buckets, sanitary ware and towels to the Hanukkah Children’s Home in Baakoniaba, near Sunyani, he said: âAs I speak now, approximately 9,000 of these employees have been made redundant because we are operating well below our capabilities.
Citing a personal example, he said, âEven though I operate an 80-room hotel, I currently don’t get more than two clients per night.
âHow can I continue to hire all my employees and pay them out of pocket? He asked rhetorically.
Items donated to the Hanukkah Children’s Home and three others were estimated at GH Â¢ 10,000.
The donation was part of the activities marking the association’s 10th anniversary.
Mr. Adu-Gyamfi said the association’s members were grateful to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for putting in place stimulus packages such as free water for three months and a reduction in water tariffs. electricity over the same period for Ghanaians.
He said, however, that GPHA members were eagerly awaiting their share of the GH Â¢ 600 million stimulus package in the form of flexible loans to cushion them from the current difficulties and keep them in business.
He called on the government to consider creating another fund as plan “B” to provide additional loans to SMEs in case the COVID-19 pandemic spreads beyond “a certain threshold” .
“It might even be necessary to extend the 50% free electricity and water and we hope the government will start to think about such a measure,” he said.
The GPHA president called on the government to pressure its agencies that collect taxes, levies and fees from association members not to use the COVID-19 SME stimulus package as a basis for them. oblige to honor such obligations.
He called on the government to ensure that Ghana returns to “normal times before we are forced to pay such taxes, fees and charges”.
He said the COVID-19 pandemic had affected hotel business, as many could not continue to operate without achieving the required customer break-even point.
He said it was in light of the difficulties that the association advocated with agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA). and metropolitan, municipal and district authorities. assemblies to suspend the collection of taxes, fees and charges for a period of time in order to give them a break to continue to function.
Corporate social responsibilities
At the presentation ceremony itself, Mr. Adu-Gyamfi said that although the association members are currently going through difficulties, it is incumbent on them not to give up their corporate social responsibilities.
He therefore called on other organizations to continue supporting the needy in society to enable them to cope with the difficulties linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The director of the home, Ms Marriet Asagbo, said it was hosting 45 inmates, as well as 17 workers and their families who were not allowed to leave the compound in order to protect them from COVID-19.
She thanked the association for its gesture and called on others to come to the aid of the home to enable it to face difficult times.