The government of Ghana is designing a unique intervention model for the hospitality industry, as part of efforts to lessen the impact of COVID-19 on Ghana’s economy.
In view of this, President Akufo-Addo met with stakeholders in the hospitality industry at the Jubilee House, to deliberate on modalities for rolling out such package and the right kind of package.
President Akufo-Addo indicated at the meeting that, this package is consistent with the government’s bigger vision of supporting local businesses to survive the unintended consequence of social distancing guidelines on the patronage of the hospitality industry.
“I think it is well understood that the hospitality sectors has been one of the hardest hit. Everybody has been very badly hit by this pandemic. We as a government have to have a clearer understanding of where we have and then, of course, to see to what extent our intervention can help redress the situation,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of his association, president of the Ghana Hotels Association, Dr. Edward Ackah-Nyamike warned that members may be forced to make difficult decisions with far-reaching consequences on the economy if they do not get support.
“The stimulus package we are talking about is more or less about how to maintain our staff. A lot of the hotels have been able to pay salaries for the month of March but the challenge is going to be one of April. Quite a number of them have shut down and the big question is what happened to the staff. So we are hoping that, if possible the government could support paying some of the staff members and keep them on the payroll so that when things get better. We don’t want to lay off workers after all the investment in training and then when things change we have to go and recruit again which will be far more expensive. We are not asking for full salary support but something that can sustain them,” he said.
The Ghana Hotels Association had earlier asked the government, through a formal appeal, to support its member to fulfill financial obligations to its staff. The Association also indicated that its members had been forced to ask their staff to stay home due to low patronage of their services.