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CAPACITY BUILDING KEY TO TOURISM DEVELOPMENT – MINISTER OF CULTURE

The Minister of Information, Culture, and tourism Alhaji Lai Mohammed has said that capacity building for players in the tourism sector is key to its development.

The Minister stated this in Makurdi, Benue State, at the formal take-off of the North Central Zonal Headquarters of the Nigerian Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).

The Minister in a statement by Special Assistant To The President (Media) Office of the Minister of Information and Culture Mr. Segun Adeyemi, Emphasized that for tourism to develop and play its desired role in the socio-economic life of a nation, there must availability of well-trained personnel.

The minister said this forms the basis for the Federal Government’s decision to have a specialized training institution for the hospitality and tourism industry in the country which culminated in the establishment of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).

He explained that NIHOTOUR as a parastatal under the federal Ministry of information and culture is saddled with providing skills proficiency, technical upgrading programmes, and professional knowledge-based education in the hospitality and tourism industry for the country and even West Africa.

Alhaji Mohammed noted that In Nigeria, the Travel, Hospitality, Tourism, and other related services have over 1 million private establishments employing over 9.8 million persons in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The Minister said the hospitality industry in the country contributed about 4.8% to its total national output (GDP) and utilized about 1.6% of its population in the year 2016.

The Minister added that the Federal Government has been doing a lot to alleviate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, especially as it affects the Creative and Tourism Sector, through its N75 billion Survival Fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

He thanked the Benue State Governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, for building and donating the edifice to NIHOTOUR and described the gesture as a giant stride in the development of tourism in the state and the country in general.

Earlier, Governor Ortom, accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Benson Abounu, and the Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Mrs. Ngunan Addingi, conducted the Minister and the Director-General of @NIHOTOUR, Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, round the institute, which will be offering Certificate, Basic Advanced Certificate, Diploma, Professional Certificate and Post-Graduate Diploma in various fields in tourism and hospitality.

BY: ZARAH MOHAMMED

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