By Ahmed Mohammed Sule
Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa, current Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism – NIHOTOUR, is a professional tourism administrator and a consummate tourism management technocrat per excellence in Nigeria and the West Africa Sub region.
Born in Argungu in Kebbi State, North Western Nigeria, Nura hails from a royal family, and was turbaned the Turaki of Kebbi by His Royal Highness, the Emir of Argungu, on 5th February, 2011
He is roundly educated in Nigeria and Europe in the fields of Social Sciences and Tourism Management having obtained a National Diploma in Business Administration from Kebbi State Polytechnic, Birnin Kebbi; A Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Political Science from Usmanu Dan Fodio University, Sokoto and a Post- Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Tourism Policy and Strategy from Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi, Milan, Italy.
Kangiwa has traversed in the industry during his active and out of service years, his interest and enthusiasm in the industry from the public sector perspective and private sector practice, saw him participate in several tourism organized events and activities at both national and international levels which put him far ahead and above his peers in the system and within the service structure.
During his active service years, Kangiwa proved himself very capable and worthy of shouldering responsibilities far and above the expectations of his superiors. This singular and unique character of his saw him handled several tasking positions in both local and national tourism events by which he was able to gather as much experience as he could.
He was Head of Marketing and Public Relations of Abuja Carnival 2005/2006/2007 during which Abuja Carnival won Best Tourism Innovation in 2006 by the Commonwealth Secretariat
Nura Kangiwa was Member, Nigerian Tourism Development Master Plan Implementation Committee from 2007 to 2009; Secretary, Media and Publicity Federal Committee on Argungu International Fishing Festival – 2006 to 2009; Desk Officer World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrations in Nigeria in 2006, 2007 and 2008
Other positions held by Nura Kangiwa were; Secretary, Exhibition Sub- Committee, Nigeria @ 50 2009/2010, Secretary, Publicity Sub Committee- United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Commission for Africa, Meeting in Abuja – 2002, Secretary, Media and Publicity Sub Committee- 2nd Commonwealth Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Abuja – 2005 and Secretary, Publicity Sub- Committee UNWTO Regional Conference on Tourism Communications (TOURCOM), Lagos- 2005
He was the Vice-President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), North West Zone from 2017 – 2019. The umbrella body of all the Travel Tourism related Associations of the Organized Private Sector in the country.
Kangiwa was also the Senior Special Assistant on ‘Tourism Matters’ to the Governor of Kebbi State from 2016 to 2018.
As an avid tourism professional and destination promoter per excellence, Alhaji Nura was instrumental to the revamping of the world-famous Argungu International Fishing Festival, after a decade of the event of-no-show. He is, equally, the mastermind behind the successful product “ARGUNGU POLO TOURNAMENT & CULTURAL FETE” a tourism product he created in 2017 which he developed to the level of attracting over 100,000 players, artistes and spectators from Nigeria, Niger and Benin Republic for a period of 5 days annually.
As clearly stated above, Kangiwa did not relent a bit in the organization and participation in tourism or tourism related events and activities. Thus, he was able to cut a niche for himself within and across all interests, sectors and segments of the Nigerian tourism industry. A very amiable, likeable and sociable person, Kangiwa has won the hearts of many tourism practitioners both in the public and sectors of the industry.
Little one therefore wonders the enormous support, cheers and felicitations that greeted his appointment as the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the nation’s apex tourism and hospitality training Institute; the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism NIHOTOUR. This is a training, skill acquisition and research based centre of all that concerns Travel-Tourism and Hospitality matters of the country with the view to churning out competent and efficient manpower needs to service the sector.
It is believed that government’s efforts, the private sector participation and indeed, laudable initiatives by all stakeholders do not make the tourism sector attain the status of a major player in the economy of Nigeria without adequate manpower. Experts have attributed the failure of this country to fully harness her abundant tourism potentials to dearth of adequate trained workforce.
While the United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP), blamed the situation on local managerial incompetence and failure to translate policies into implementable projects, the International Labor Organization (ILO), on the other hand, observed that no amount of investment in infrastructure or expansion of tourism capacity will ever be successful unless the necessary manpower in the required numbers and at required levels of knowledge and skills are provided to run the sector. That is to say that prosperity in tourism depends largely on well talented human resources who will provide high quality tourism services based on know-how at both strategic and operational levels.
This was the idea and reason behind the birth and establishment of NIHOTOUR – The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism as a centre for manpower training and development in the sector as well as a significant step at uplifting the nation’s tourism profile in the global community.
This is the challenge Since its establishment, the Institute, in line with its mandate, can be said to have reasonably done well offering training in various areas of the Nigerian Tourism and Hospitality industry. However, the performance of training status in the nation’s Tourism and Hospitality industry cannot be said to be as impressive as expected yet due to some problems inherent amongst operators in the sector.
These are the challenges that Alhaji Nura Kangiwa as CEO of NIHOTOUR has to surmount head on in order to take the Institute to the next level as a dynamic public sector training Institute of high repute and one to be reckoned with in tourism and hospitality training globally.
To achieve this great and singular feat, Kangiwa has already initiated consultation with relevant critical stakeholders in the industry with the view to having them imbibe a positive mind set of the dire need for trained personnel in the Hospitality and Travel-Tourism industry that will provide high quality service delivery in line with global best practice.
In line with his Mission and Vision for the Institute, Kangiwa has begun the introduction of Nobel innovations and changes through an ICT and digital based delivery of knowledge and administrative acumen that will reposition NIHOTOUR into a capable and competent training centre of excellence that it is meant to be and that which will enable it deliver on its core mandate.
The Nigerian Travel-Tourism and Hospitality community in the public and private sectors jointly welcome Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa on board the National Tourism Train moving Nigeria to socio-economic greatness and prosperity by harnessing the potentials of the country’s tourism endowments.
Ahmed Mohammed Sule writes in from Abuja