Yesterday, November 30th 2020, the nineth NIHOTOUR regional campus in Makurdi, Benue State, comes on-stream as school was officially handed over by the State Government to the Federal government of Nigeria, to be operated by the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).
The Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, and Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, the Director General of NIHOTOUR, and Benue State Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism, the Rt. Hon Ngunan Addingi, were among the dignitaries who participated in the formal handover ceremony in Makurdi.
In his remark during the ceremony in Makurdi, Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa, the Director General of NIHOTOUR, observed that Benue State is one of the most richly tourism resource-endowed destinations in Nigeria. He cited Ikyogen Hills, Dajo Pottery, Anwase-Abande Ranges, the rare Manatee of Katsina-ala River, Tor Tiv Palace, Gboko and Ushongo Hills as some of State's popular attractions.
"There is no doubt that the Hospitality and Tourism sector in Nigeria is faced with dearth of high quality training and certification that command the confidence of both the Industry and its Consumers. The establishment of NIHOTOUR has helped lay to rest these inadequacies. So in 2015 when the Benue State Government called on NIHOTOUR to partner with the government in manpower training in the hospitality and tourism industry of the state, we were happy to oblige."
Alhaji Kangiwa, the NIHOTOUR helmsman, assured that he will hit the ground running in terms of immediate commencement of teaching and learning in the Makurdi campus. The Director General said, " Tourism has the vibrancy and potency to help the government achieve this goal. There are a lot of entrepreneurial skills people can acquire in the subsectors of tourism such as tour guiding, tour operation, travel agency operation, parks and gardens operation, recreation centre management, event management, hospitality management, pastry and cookery practice, etc. In a world of unemployment, these skills can make the teeming youth in Benue state self-reliant and even employer of labour."
Accordingly, the NIHOTOUR DG declared that, the Makurdi campus will now become the North Central Zonal headquarters of NIHOTOUR, away from Abuja, which will now resort to being the national head office of the in Nigeria. He therefore called on the Benue State Government to give NIHOTOUR the consent to produce a Tourism Development Master Plan, in order to open up the State inbound tourists and investors.