Hotels, Lounges, Clubs, Bars, Eateries In Imo State Lose More Than N1billion In One Week To COVID-19 Lockdown
This is not the best of time for the numerous hotels, lounges, clubs and eateries in Imo state especially Owerri.
A survey conducted in the Owerri metropolis since the sit-at-home order was declared by the Senator Hope Uzodinma-led government last week showed that they have lost several millions of naira to the lockdown already.
The lockdown took many by surprise even as human and vehicular movements are restricted. The City which is known for its vibrant and busy nightlife, always gracing numerous events in various hotels, eating and drinking joints, clubbing Sunday to Sunday is now a shadow of itself.
Awareness media team visited some of these hot zones in the city of Owerri, We discovered that they were either under lock and key or partially open without the usual patronage because of government’s restriction order. Joints like MiMi's Place, Play Lounge, The Hive Outdoor, House of Freeda, Vandos Place, Cubana, Orange Room, Ibari Ogwa, Las Vegas, Mandy's etc were all closed, just like the numerous hotels, fast food restaurants and others.
Meanwhile, most of these businesses have sent half of their staff on compulsory leave and nobody is certain that those staff will receive their salaries for the month of March and April as the lockdown continues
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At the moment, most hotels in Owerri no longer put on their generating sets because of the same lack of patronage while others closed down their bars, restaurants and other important departments in order to meet up with the Covid-19 challenges.
Just as eateries, fast food restaurants, bars, lounges and hotels are counting their lose, some other business like super markets and transporters are also doing same in the state.
When contacted, a manager in one of the happening hotels and bar in town who pleaded anonymity, said “This lockdown has taken a toll on us. We no longer see lodgers. All these rooms you are seeing here, about 40 of them are empty. Before this time it was not so. We charge between N10,000 and N25,000, for each room, depending on the nature of the room and during the weekends, all of them are occupied. But today, what do we see? Empty rooms. You can see what we mean.”
Another manager said “we charge between N25,000 and N55,000 per room and still you hardly get a free room because of the kind of services we offer. Now nobody comes for the rooms, nobody books our hall for events and nobody makes use of our bush bar and swimming pool. The government has made it appear like a war situation and this is bad for the state’s economy.”
Indeed, the same story is heard everywhere, within and outside the state businesses and families are crying, hoping to hear a good news that will brighten up their face and give them the hope of returning to their businesses and work soon.