By Usman Gwadabe
The Federal Government has called on operators of the Nigerian hospitality industry to collaborate with the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) to reposition the sector for better service delivery and sustainable operations in the sector.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who made the call at the commissioning of Marriot Hotel in Lagos, said the sustainability of the hospitality industry is heavily dependent on the capacity of human resources and talent which NIHOTOUR was established to provide for the nation’s Travel Tourism and Hospitality industry.
A statement signed by the NIHOTOUR Director, Media and Public Relations, Ahmed Mohammed Sule said, the Vice President, who spoke through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, further called on all stakeholders in the industry to place greater focus and priority attention in building capacity and harnessing talents of the indigenous people and vast tourism potentials of the communities where they operate in the country.
Prof. Osinbajo who extolled the resilience of the hospitality industry in bouncing back to operations despite the Covid-19 pandemic, expressed delight that the industry is taking advantage of technological innovations to adapt to the new norms of providing contact-less services as well as strictly observing the non-pharmaceutical Covid-19 protocols in its impeccable business operations within the sector.
While he reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to continuously formulate effective policies that will provide the enabling environment for the hospitality industry in Nigeria to operate in line with global best practices and compete favourably with other world class hotels, Prof. Osinbajo thanked the proprietor of Marriot Hotel for choosing to invest in Nigeria and for erecting the magnificent edifice that is today the pride of the Nigerian hospitality industry.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo and Goodluck Jonathan; Governors Abubakar Badaru of Jigawa State and Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State; former Governors Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State and Ahmed Makarfi of Kaduna State;
Others were the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi alongside other traditional rulers; Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa, Director General of NIHOTOUR and Mr. Folorunsho Coker, Director General of the NTDC.