The ravaging novel Coronavirus disease has started taking toll on businesses in Benin, as some Hotels, Lounges and Bars are closing down as a result of low patronage.
A correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), who monitored the situation on Wednesday, reports that most of the hotels have laid off their workers while some retained few of their work force.
Some of the hoteliers told NAN that the decision to lay-off some of their workers was because they rely heavily on generator as their source of power, even with low customers.
They noted that most of the highbrow hotels in Benin have either shutdown or merely operating skeletal service to keep the place open and not necessarily opened for profit making.
Seyi Abiodun, a manager of one of the big hotels along Etete area of Benin, said that the decision to shut down was a painful one as they had ran at a loss for several days.
“It was not an easy decision for us especially against the background of the hard working staff we have. But like we told them, we had to close down for now, to remain in business after the pandemic.
“Before this decision was taken, for five days running, we could hardly boast of six guests in a hotel of 106 rooms. The day we shut down, we had to plead with the only guest we have to go lodge in another hotel.
“In all of this, don’t also forget that we run on generator even with the fewer guests we were having,” he said.
A highbrow hotel along Airport road in Benin, also had to close down for lack of patronage.
A worker in the hotel who pleaded anonymity, said 80 per cent of the workforce were asked to stop work for now, until things normalise.
She attributed reason for the low patronage to the fact that majority of their customers were business men, women and guests from outside the state.
Bob Osato, another hotelier along Ihama road, Government Reserve Area (GRA) of the city, said the situation is not any different with most hotels within the same axis.
“It is sad that this is happening but what can one do than to wait for normal business activities to resume. This people (Workers) that were asked to go for now, will definitely be recalled when we are back on our feet again.
“Hotel is not the only business affected by this COVID-19 matter, you can even see that there is lull in businesses one usually experience along Ihama, mostly at nights. I think the issue of safety comes first before any other thing,” he stated.
NAN reports that aside hotels, bars and lounges around Ihama, Airport road and other popular areas of the GRA, have also experience complete or partial shutdown. (NAN)