Abuse of drugs in hospitality outlets in Nigeria; A guest privacy or public concern?

By Olusegun Celestine Oni


Is there a better way to start creating a call for concern on this contemporary social vice demanating the moral standard of the society like the Drug abuse in the country?

I have been taking a closer look into the way this public issue is now affecting the struggling hospitality and Tourism industry in Nigeria, most especially Hotels and Accomodations outlets, simply because hotels are now gradually becoming the safest place for drug abusers who hide under the hotel proprietorship law of safeguarding the guest and property without infringements of privacy.

I believe  this post will serve as a big awareness to a better way to address this activity affecting guest comfortability, safety and reputation of hotels in the country. 

It is more than 20 years of my experience working in the hospitality industry and mostly hotels and Resort across different states and categories in the country. I can specifically say that only few ( 20% ) of  Hotel Management handle the situation seriously more than others. Even at some big hotels, the social vices is now becoming a norms when you see guest freely abusing drugs that are known to be illegal within the hotel premises.

It even looks like all the warning pasted on the walls of the hotel to warn guest from smoking and using of hard drugs is just for legal backup rather than to create a conducive environment for any category of guest patronizing the hotels.

Hotels are affected in many ways when normal guests perceived or see the usage of hard drugs within them either by the staff of by others guest. Firstly, it will reduce the reputation of the hotel  regardless of the standard and class. Secondly, they won’t feel secure anymore and which will affect guest coming back to such establishment. Moreover, it will disrupt the cool and sweet ambience of the hotel through offensive odours from drug that are smoked into the air like Marijuana e.t.c.

From my observation, guests who use the drugs in the hotel rooms as thier last confidentiality are not aware of the smell getting out of thier rooms to disrupt the atmosphere. Unfortunately the wind can carry the smell as far as what they can imagine in their hallucinatory relm.

Today,  many hotels have lost a substantial amount of customers due to thier inability to enforce and control the usage of hard drugs within the hotels either in the room and outside like Bar and Pubs. It is very understandable when guest smokes in the area permitted by the hotels and which may necessarily not allow hard drugs to be used because of the legal implications. The worst scenario is when guest use those drugs in the rooms or publicly without any strict sanctions by the hotel management.

I had observed that most hotel doesn’t care about this menace because they see those customers violating this norms as the big spender and without considering the implications of loosing reputation and customers who are looking for a better way to relax rather than abusing drugs in public place.

Hospitality Managers in Nigeria can help the country to reduce the high level of drug abuse as it is now obvious that the offenders now find hotels as the last and safest place to use the drug without anybody questioning them.

Hotel Managers and staff( mostly houskeepers ) can also testify to how much damage this smokers caused the business physically through damages made to the hotel property like burnt bedsheets , offensive smell in the rooms after check out and irresponsible usage of facilities.

As I intend to raise more awareness on this critical issues in the hospitality industry most especially hotels. I am looking forward to more contribution from experts into ways to address this.

Leveraging on the Gen Z spending should not come with uncontrollably risk for business owners as the usage of hard drugs is increasing on daily basis without strict intervention from gorvement and stakeholders.




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