The Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR, Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa, has called on the new leadership of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) to double its efforts at uniting members of the federation for the good of the industry and in the best interest of the country if tourism is to take its rightful position as the number one revenue earning sector for the for the Nigerian economy.
Kangiwa made the call when newly elected officials of the federation led by its President, Mr. Nkereuwem Onung, paid him a courtesy visit at the headquarters of the Institute in Abuja.
The Director General noted that the long existing internal bickering within the federation has caused the industry serious drawback which has hindered the achievement of any meaningful progress in the development of the Nigerian Travel Tourism and Hospitality industry as the preferred sector in the diversification of the country’s economy.
While calling on members of FTAN to stand united as the voice of the Organized Private Sector of the Travel Tourism and Hospitality industry of the country, Kangiwa pledged the resolve of NIHOTOUR to continue to collaborate with stakeholders in the industry to improve the human capacity content of the sector through vocational skill acquisition training and re-training of industry personnel for better quality service delivery in line with global best practices.
Kangiwa then called for collaborative efforts between the Institute as host of the Nigerian Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skill Council with FTAN as the umbrella body of the private sector stakeholders to continuously improve and encourage training of personnel and professional practitioners in the industry as well as work towards evolving a dependable, accessible and reliable data base for the industry labour market and other sectoral information necessary for planning and achieving effective and efficient operations in the industry.
Earlier in his address, Mr. Onung said the visit to the Director General was informed by the critical position and role of NIHOTOUR in the training and provision of the needed manpower for a flourishing tourism industry in the country, noting that his tenure as FTAN president will explore all available means to ensure that private sector operators in the industry uphold the principle of continuous personnel training and re-training by patronizing the vocational skill acquisition services that the Institute provides for all cadres of professional and non-professional practitioners in the sector.
Onung, who observed with dismay the inability of the country to tap into the potentials and socio-economic benefits of the tourism industry, said his leadership of FTAN will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the resource potentials of the sector are properly and adequately harnessed for the socio-economic gains of the country.
The FTAN helmsman said if properly tapped, tourism can comfortably replace oil in terms of job creation, poverty alleviation and high-income generation for the nation’s economy, but regretted that this wasn’t possible because of the lip service played in the growth and development of the sector.
Onung’s leadership of FTAN was elected into the office last July 2021 to run the affairs of the federation for the next two years. On the courtesy visit of the President is the First Deputy President, Alhaji Badaki Ibrahim, the Admin Secretary, Mr. Precious Okonji amongst others.