By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has expressed federal government commitments to rebrand and prioritized the tourism sector, as part of efforts to boost economic development in the country.
Lai made the disclosure recently, while declaring the 2020 National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) Annual Master Lecture Series in Abuja,with the themed, “Sustaining the Gains of Hospitality and Tourism Research in a Challenging World”.
The minister who was represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Engr. Nebeolisa Anako, said that tourism sector account for one in every 10 jobs globally, and that Nigeria has not pay adequate attention to the sector over the years.
According to him, the tourism industry is capable of addressing the increasing spate of unemployment across the country.
“Tourism is the reason for most people mobility in the modern world, it is the driver of growth and economic prosperity accounting for one in every ten jobs globally. I can say this sector is one of the key sector Mr President and his administration programmed to raise one million Nigerians out of poverty.
“The employment opportunities provided by the Sector will appease those that needed, it offered employment to young women and men and if you look at the economic development goals the key aspects of women and children, tourism play it’s important part there,” he said.
In his opening remark, the Director General of NIHOTOUR, Nura Kangiwa, reiterated that the institute remain resolute irrespective of the challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are in a time of unprecedented crises and hospitality and tourism industry need to adopt and evolve to meet the ever-changing need occasioned by this crisis. No doubt the industry has had to deal with different crisis and viruses earlier.
“As a research and allied institution, we will work hard to sustain this momentum, as well as improve on its overall impact on the industry”.
He said against this backdrop, I urged you to use this medium as yet another opportunity to brainstorm so as to come up with innovative ideas to move this industry forward.
Also, the Director General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, said that the NIHOTOUR is very important component for the development of tourism in the country.
According to him, NIHOTOUR is like the tourism ‘law school’ because no matter how intelligent someone is the class in the University, the person must attend law school, thus NIHOTOUR is very important and must be recognised as such.
Also speaking,the special guest of honour at the event,Director- General, National Council for Arts and Culture,(NCAC) Otunba Runsewe,said NIHOTOUR is an important organisation, with special content in the marketing and promoting of products in country’s tourism potential.