Earlier this week, Nigeria's President, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari appointed new Chief Executive Officers for agencies and parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Information, Culture & Tourism. Among the new appointees is Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa, a tourism technocrat, who hails from a royal family in Kebbi State, North Western Nigeria.
The Nigerian government announced the appointment of a new Director General for NIHOTOUR via a press release from the Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, which stipulated that Alhaji Nura Kangiwa's appointment is effective from September 1st 2020. The appointment of Alhaji Nura has been cheered by Nigeria tourism and hospitality practitioners, businesses, stakeholders and industry analysts.
NIHOTOUR is the premier hospitality training tertiary school and tourism industry capacity development citadel in Nigeria. The Institute has been operating since 1987, with training centers spread across Nigeria's six geopolitical zones. Presently, NIHOTOUR is affiliated to several international training Ivory Towers in the USA, Europe and African regions. NIHOTOUR was established in 1987, following a tripartite project agreement NIR/85/004 signed that year between the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) as part of a comprehensive approach to tourism development in the country.
Alhaji Nura Kangiwa is a passionate advocate for tourism and hospitality industry development in Nigeria and West Africa. Prior to his appointment, Alhaji Kangiwa had successful stints in the landscape of Nigeria's tourism and hospitality sectors, including being the Vice-President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), North West Zone. More so, the new DG is a celebrated former Senior Special Assistant on 'Tourism Matters' to the Governor of Kebbi State - between 2016 - 2019.
Nigeria Travel Digest made a congratulatory phone call to Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, he responded that his goal, for now, is "to rebuild NIHOTOUR to become an African Centre of Excellence for sustainable Hospitality and Tourism personnel training. Hence, I'll ensure we deploy the latest internet technologiy to fast-track tourism manpower development, especially post Covid-19. We will focus on bridging the knowledge gaps in Nigeria's Hospitality and Tourism Industry, including working with all national and international tourism institutions and stakeholders. Accordingly, I'll commit that NIHOTOUR mainstreams online training of millions of Nigerian youths and women in international best practices of hospitality management. I believe that, in a post Covid-19 world, implementing qualitative internet training, and also establishing enduring national structure for tourists' services standardization are the bedrock of building and growing competitive destinations. Moreover, I'll rally stakeholders to, as a matter of industrial emergency, implement a professional regulatory framework for Nigerian tourism."
It is noteworthy, that in the days of his meritorious service to his State of Orgin, the Government of Kebbi State gave Alhaji Kangiwa a clear mandate to, among other things, restructure and rebrand the Argungu International Fishing & Cultural Festival into a world-class cultural tourism product. And, true to his workaholic nature, diligence to duty and knack for excellence, Nura facilitated the hosting of one of the most successful Argungu Fishing Festival in history, after almost a decade of the event no-show.
Speaking to this reporter in Abuja, Alhaji Saleh Rabo, the leading National President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) enthusiastically affirmed that the appointment of Nura Kangiwa is a strategic game changer for the industry in Nigeria. He said, "Alhaji Nura is one of the most patriotic Pan-Nigerians I know. He is a thoroughly detribalized gentleman, and a stickler for improved standardization of Nigerian hospitality sector - even to the extent of being globally competitive. I trust in his intellectual capacity to transform the premier Nigerian pedagogic institute for Tourism into a world class knowledge destination."
Similarly, Chief Abiodun Odunsawo, the President of the Institute for Tourism Professionals in Nigeria expressed satisfaction with Alhaji Nura Kangiwa as the DG of NIHOTOUR. Chief Odunsawo said, "Alhaji Nura is an outstanding Fellow of the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria, the premier professionals body for our industry, and it is no surprise that he's been so appointed. Alhaji Nura is a tourism professional to the core with the added advantage of diverse experience in Nigeria's public and private sectors."
A fact finding trip by this reporter to NIHOTOUR head office in the Jabi area of Abuja, revealed that most of the staff of the Institute are joyful, in anticipation, of Alhaji Nura Kangiwa's Midas Touch in the helm of the Institute's management.
This reporter's background check on Alhaji Nura Kangiwa's antecedents revealed that he's previously held far-ranging positions in Nigeria national socio-economic polity including:
a. Head of Marketing and Public Relations – Abuja Carnival 2005/2006/2007 (Abuja Carnival won Best Tourism Innovation in 2006 by the Commonwealth Secretariat);
b. Member, Nigerian Tourism Development Master Plan Implementation Committee – 2007/2008/2009
c. Secretary, Media & Publicity, Federal Committee on Argungu Fishing Festival – 2006- 2009
d. Secretary, Entertainment Sub-Committee, Presidential Inauguration Committee (YarAdua) – 2007;
e. Desk Officer World Tourism Day (WTD) 2006/2007/2008;
f. Secretary, Exhibition Sub- Committee, Nigeria @ 50 2009/2010
g. Secretary, Publicity Sub Committee- United Nations World Tourism Organization
(UNWTO) Commission for Africa, Meeting in Abuja – 2002;
h. Secretary, Media & Publicity Sub Committee - 2nd Commonwealth Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Abuja – 2005;
i. Secretary, Publicity Sub- Committee UNWTO Regional Conference on Tourism Communications (TOURCOM), Lagos- 2005;
OFFICE OF THE EXECUTIVE GOVERNOR OF KEBBI STATE - 2016-2018:
Alhaji Nura Kangiwa worked as Senior Special Assistant to The Executive Governor of Kebbi State on Tourism Matters, with a clear mandate to restructure and rebrand the Argungu International Fishing & Cultural Festival into a world-class cultural event.
SECRETARY LOC ARGUNGU INTERNATIONAL FISHING & CULTURAL FESTIVAL 2020:
Secretary of the Local Organizing Committee of the Argungu International Fishing & Cultural Festival, held from 11th – 14th March, 2020.
• Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan, Italy (Post- Graduate Diploma on Tourism Policy and Strategy,
Applied to Destination Management Organization (DMO) 2006
• Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto (B.Sc Political Science) 1993-1997
• Kebbi State Polytechnic, Birnin Kebbi (National Diploma - Business Administration