By Miriam Humbe
The Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Mrs Chika Balogun has solicited for closer ties and collaboration with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) to promote Nigerian cuisines abroad as a veritable source of foreign earnings in Nigeria’s quest for the diversification of the economy. A statement by NIHOTOUR Deputy Director, Public Relations Ahmed Mohammed Sule said Mrs Balogun who made the call when she paid a courtesy visit on the Executive Secretary of NEPC Mr. Olusegun Awolowo in Abuja said NIHOTOUR as the manpower training and regulatory agency of the hospitality and tourism sector of the country was committed to the export of Nigerian cuisines outside the shores of Nigeria, adding that partnering with NEPC will give the institute’s efforts a boost.
In his response, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo said research findings show that Nigerian cuisines are the most sought for in foreign countries and urged Nigerians to seize the opportunity by venturing into the export of Nigerian dishes abroad.
He said his council was prepared to partner with NIHOTOUR in ensuring that exporters of Nigerian dishes to the outside world get value for their investments.
Mr. Awolowo however observed that for Nigeria to make headway in the export of its cuisines, she must improve her food for export in the areas of preparation, packaging and marketing in line with international standards and requirements of the countries of exports. Mrs. Chika Balogun who recently assumed leadership of NIHOTOUR as Director General and Chief Executive Officer, was at headquarters of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council as part of her campaign efforts to reposition NIHOTOUR for greater performance and successes in the discharge of its core mandate as a training and regulatory agency of the hospitality and tourism industry of Nigeria.