Stakeholders in the travel, tourism and hospitality industry have been called upon to take advantage of the robust global travel market by harnessing Nigeria’s vibrant tourism and rich cultural endowments for the economic benefits of the country. Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture who made the call at the second combined graduation and convocation ceremony of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) in Abuja, also noted that government’s economic diversification efforts through tourism would best be achieved with available trained manpower and personnel that will effectively drive the industry.
The Minister who spoke through the Acting Director Domestic Tourism in the Ministry, Mrs. Patricia Narayi, said NIHOTOUR has been uniquely established to provide manpower training and research needs in the industry, a task it has so far been able to perform creditably well, and called on stakeholders to patronize the Institute in order to empower their staff with the requisite skills for optimum service delivery.
Earlier in his address, the Acting Director General of the Institute, Dr. Momoh Muhammed Kabir reiterated the determination of NIHOTOUR as a bastion for the provision of trained professional workforce that will deliver good quality and high standard services in the tourism and hospitality industry of the country in tune with global best practices. While congratulating the graduates and recipients of the Institute’s award as Fellows for their accomplishments, Dr. Kabir was quick to note some of the challenges the Institute has been grappling with for several decades amongst which are lack of office and training accommodations in Abuja as well as the non-availability of a Bill for the Institute. He therefore made a passionate appeal for the intervention of the Minister in ameliorating the Institute’s plight in these regards.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Royal Father of the day and Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar noted that as royal fathers and custodians of the nation’s customs and traditions, they will continue to support all activities of responsible tourism practices in the country. Alhaji Abubakar who is also the Chairman, Niger State Traditional Council and represented at the occasion by the Dan Nagenu Nupe, Alhaji Abubakar Ndadama expressed his appreciation for the honour done him and many others with the award of Fellow of the Institute and called on the graduates to be good ambassadors of the Institute wherever they may find themselves in their future endeavours.
In the convocation lecture, ‘Tourism and Skill Training for self Reliance in Contemporary Nigeria’, the guest speaker, Dr. Ghalli Shariff of the University of Abuja, noted that the organized private sector all over the world is the key driver of the economy of their respective country. He then called on the graduates to avail themselves of opportunities in the global market by rendering optimally the skills they have acquired in boosting the nation’s tourism and hospitality industry.
A total of over 2000 graduates who have successfully completed various course programs of the Institute from the years 2014/15 – 2018/19 academic sessions at Diploma, Post Diploma and Certificate levels as well as the Internationally accredited program of IATA passed out at the ceremony and were awarded their certificates.