The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed has stated that capacity building for players in the tourism sector is key to the development of the sector.
The Minister disclosed this on Tuesday at the formal take-off of the North Central Zonal Headquarters of the Nigerian Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) in Makurdi, Benue State.
He added that the FG’s decision to build a specialized training institution for the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria gave birth to the establishment of NIHOTOUR.
He said, “NIHOTOUR is a parastatal under the Ministry of Information and Culture and it is saddled with providing skills proficiency, technical upgrading programmes, and professional knowledge-based education in the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria and West Africa.”
The Minister disclosed that tourism is a major driver of economic growth and general well being of the citizens in developing nations. 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 FCT.
The Minister also revealed that the hospitality industry in Nigeria contributed about 4.8% to Nigeria’s total GDP and utilized about 1.6% of Nigerians in the year 2016.
According to a 2019 hospitality report by PricewaterhouseCooper, the Nigerian hospitality industry is expected to grow by 12% yearly till 2023, making it one of the fastest-growing markets, before the advent of Covid-19.
Lai Mohammed said that the FG has helped the Tourism sector fight the effects of the pandemic through the N75 billion Survival Fund for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises. Also, that the FG has supported 2,186 companies by employing 12,117 individuals under the payroll support.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported earlier that operators in the Nigerian hospitality industry created opportunities for themselves amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in order to redefine value propositions and keep their heads above water.
- To ensure that they give their patrons reasons to continue patronizing their services, some of the hotels came up with initiatives like drive-in events, outdoor events, promotions, guest engagements, and group conference events, amongst others.
- Nairametrics also reported last week that Lai Mohammed emphasized the need to explore the nation’s vast tourism potentials to create jobs, achieve inclusiveness, and address youth restiveness.