The National Hospitality Association of Ghana (NHAG), is appealing to government to negotiate with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) to pay 50% salary of employees of its members over a period of six months as part of emergency assistance in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the association, this will enable the industry to protect jobs and ensure that hospitality services are maintained as the country continues to fight the novel Coronavirus disease.
According to the Association, the economic situation facing the hospitality sector as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic is severe, as business activities have deteriorated even before the three-week partial lockdown.
The Association made up of 60 mainline restaurants and eateries in Accra, Tema and Kumasi says the prospects of a recovery for the industry is even becoming more remote each week.
“Many restaurants and eateries are currently operating between 5 to 10 percent of their total capacity. Some have reported no business at all during this period, forcing them to more or less close down their business. Others have had to disengage the services of the majority of their staff in the absence of business to compensate them. Others have had to scale down salaries to try to cope with the global shock,” a statement from the association stated.
The statement signed by the Executive Secretary of the Association, Theodore Dzeble, stated that, “the industry is in need of urgent life support by the government in order to prevent further job losses to Ghanaians and the total collapse of the sector.”
The Association also called on government to suspend rental charges for commercial tenants for at least 6 months, as well as the Tourism Levy of 1%, and use current reserves to aid restaurants and eateries.
Among other demands, the association is also asking government to reduce property rates by 50% and suspend all charges, including VAT and related taxes until further notice.
The association further asked for a suspension on Union annual salary increment requests and mitigation of import duties on Food and Non-Food Products.
The Association believes the above measures would provide much-needed respite to the industry and prevent an unmitigated collapse which could wipe off all the economic gains made so far by the government in the last few years.