The Vice-President who was represented at the event by the Honourable Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said “human capital is crucial to the success of this industry and the goal is to utilize the talent and expertise of the people and other persons in key positions within our nation to steer this sector to sustainable profits. In this regard, I will urge you to work with National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), an agency of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, which was set up to provide a platform for human capital development in the Hospitality and Tourism industry, and to certify and register qualified personnel in the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism Sector, among others.”
The opening ceremony of Marriott’s new Ikeja Lagos hotel attracted government officials, very important personalities in Nigeria and other dignitaries from all works of life. The roll call includes former Nigerian Presidents, Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, and the Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola. Some State Governors were also present, namely, Alhaji Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State, and Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu, the Governor of Lagos State. Some former State Governors also heralded the event including Ibikunle Amosun, former Governor of Ogun State and Ahmed Makarfi, former Governor of Kaduna State. Prominent traditional rulers graced the hotel opening, led by the Ooni of Ife and several Royal Fathers. Expectedly, the Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa, was regally present, as well as Mr. Folorunsho Coker, the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC).
Reacting to the Vice-President’s call for Marriott Hotel’s operators to work with the NIHOTOUR, the Director General of Institute, Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa, spoke with reporters at the event and expressed his readiness to reach-out to Marriott Hotel, and other hospitality and tourism establishments, for staff capacity development and to bridge the requisite skills-gap in their operations. He also revealed that NIHOTOUR will partner with investors in the hospitality sector to ensure they have return on their investments, as they provide direct and indirect employment to Nigerians which leads to significant economic multiplier-effects.
Pic: Marriott Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria.
DG Nura Kangiwa said, “as a matter of fact, the report of a recent survey on Domestic Tourism in Lagos State, published in March 2021, conducted by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that Tourism contributed 16.86 percent to GDP of Lagos State in 2017, valued of 4.6 trillion Naira. In 2018 it was 17.40 percent, valued at 5.5trillion Naira, in nominal terms; and in 2019, the contribution of Tourism to GDP in Lagos was 15.80, valued at 6.2trillion Naira. More so, in terms of Employment, the survey further revealed that Tourism ccontributed 9.42 percent in 2017, representing 596,104 jobs; 9.93 percent in 2018, representing 634,707 jobs and rose to 10.92 percent in 2019, representing 705,119 jobs.”
NIHOTOUR DG assured that, “as a specialized parastatal of the Federal Government, we will continue to create the enabling environment for Hospitality and Tourism business operators in Nigeria to thrive by facilitating the formulation of investor-friendly policies and providing best-in-class corporate incentives, as we coordinate the Hospitality and Tourism sector skills council. Our doors are open to the concerns and interests of all stakeholders for the growth and development of the Tourism industry and for the eventual diversification of the Nigerian economy.”
The National Institute for Hospitality and tourism (NIHOTOUR) is the premier sectoral training, vocational and professional skills development Institute in Nigeria. It would be recalled that NIHOTOUR was established in 1988 as a result of a tripartite agreement involving the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN). The Institute has the unique mandate to provide basic, intermediate and advanced training in the Hospitality and Tourism sector. To this end, it is empowered and has the capacity to provide skills proficiency, technical upgrading programmes and professional knowledge-based education in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry in Nigeria and West Africa.
Moreover, NIHOTOUR is the Coordinator of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skills Council of Nigeria (HTSSCN). The Council is comprised of all the hospitality and tourism occupational trades and professional groups in Nigeria.