Lagos residents have called for stiffer measures to check the growing trend of underage persons being allowed access to hotels, alcohol and drugs.A cross-section of residents in the metropolis who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews on Tuesday, said the responsibility to check the act rest majorly on parenting.
Mrs Opeyemi Adebayo, a teacher, said that the family had a major role to play on deciding how a child would turn-out or behave in the society.
“Parents need to spend more time with their children, yes Lagos stress is there but you should create time to monitor the activities of your children since you are capable of bringing them to the world.
“If you can’t do this everyday, create time. Parents should also be good examples because children mostly display outside, what they see or learn from home.” he said.Mr Samuel Oseni, a clergy, however, told NAN that children should be taught in the way of the Lord so that the society would be a better place for all.“The Sunday schools are there to teach these children what they may not teach them in school. Teach them to be better persons and lay good examples while at home with them,” he said.
Mr Chijioke Nwokonko, a lecturer in Ogun, said checking underaged access to hotels, alcohol and drug was one difficult thing to do in this part of the world, adding that government policies also make it difficult.
“I mean government policy like the citizens having their national ID card once they get to their secondary level of education.“It should be strongly implemented by the government that before allowing one entry into a pub, club or a hotel, the ID card should be checked to be sure that such person has attained the required age limit to enable them visit such environment.
“Also, there are instances where these underaged children already have strong influences, they can call the manager to gain access and make the security man asking for ID card look useless,” he said.
Nwonkoko said that to correct or check this, law enforcement agencies that would act as the watchdog of such act should be created and adhere strictly to instructions by the government.
“Such agencies should visit hotels and clubs at random in disguise and once they see anyone perceived as underage, their ID cards should be requested and if found wanting, both the management and the underaged children should face the law.
“Drug abuse is drug abuse. This has nothing to do with age though, as such, anyone that is caught engaging in such act should be apprehended and should be made to go through the complete process of rehabilitation,” he said.
Mr Oluomo Talabi, the President, Lagos Hoteliers Association, said there had been measures to check underage persons from gaining access to hotels as the association strongly condemns the act.
“The measures have been on from time, it’s just that this issue of immorality on the part of our children is just coming up now, no thanks to social media but not withstanding, it is not something we condone as individuals and as an organisation.
“We have put measures in place and at every of our gathering, we do lecture ourselves on how to combat such a thing.
“You know that it’s not possible for a proprietor of the hotel to always be on ground at all times, even some of our staffs can be funny but we ensure that all our members have CCTV cameras to monitor what goes on within their premises.
“We organise seminars, lecture ourselves on the conduct of our staffs and the dos and don’ts that should be applicable in all of our branches even though not all hotels are members of our association,” Talabi said.
Talabi added that experts like university lecturers were sometimes invited to speak with hoteliers on the current trend in the hospitality industry to make their business run smoothly.
“Even on the issue of drugs, you are aware that particularly NDLEA invaded some hotels. This is not a palatable thing for us, in order for us not to fall victim of such, we talk to ourselves and of course we speak with security agencies by way of collaborating.
“We ask them what they want us to put in place, the dos and don’ts, we take it back to our members so we try as much as possible to adhere to the rules and regulations,” he said.
The president said that every member of staff working in hotels had been issued warning not to allow underage persons access and to the bars within the premises.
“We run bars in our hotels too, no underage can come in to our bars. They don’t even have access to the hotel in the first instance not to talk of access to the bar.” he said.