Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, the Director-General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), on Friday said that the institute is still committed to training hospitality and tourism operators to enhance the continuous improvement of the tourism industry.
Kangiwa made this known during the Naija Seven Wonder webinar session, organised by Mr Ikechi Uko of the AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market.
The theme for the webinar was: “Hospitality and Tourism Training with National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism”.
Kangiwa said the core mandate of the institute is to provide professional basic, intermediate and advanced training for individuals interested in the tourism and hospitality sector.
He said application for training would be welcomed as the institute operates nine campuses in Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Bauchi, Osogbo, Enugu, Benin and Makurdi.
“With NIHOTOUR’s certification, individuals should be assured of working in any tourism and hospitality outfit in the country and beyond.
“We are improving constantly and we remain committed to rendering the needed training every hospitality or tourism operator desires.
“We have seasoned and experienced instructors for this task and we must realise that training is key to functioning properly in the hospitality and tourism industries,” he said.
NIHOTOUR’s Academic Secretary, Mr Philip Maga, encouraged Nigerians to patronise the institute in terms of the training offered, but expressed regret that most Nigerians are more comfortable with being trained in other countries.
He said that the training capacity of the institute has been enlarged since the current Director-General assumed office.
He noted that another challenge facing the industry was the fact that most hotel managers do not find their jobs dignifying enough to develop themselves on the job.
According to him, they rather opt from one career to another, adding that this had hindered the growth of the industry over the years.
He said the institute was out to bridge the knowledge gap between graduates from the University and Polytechnic in the areas of attitudinal behaviour and skills.
“We need support from stakeholders, Nigerians are faced with the problem of not taking pride in being trained within the country, they prefer to go out of the country to study more.
“People must understand the value of NIHOTOUR’s certification and the need for constant skill upgrade in the tourism and hospitality industries.
“We have restructured our curriculum to allow for internship in the workplace before graduation, to give room for additional knowledge and proper understanding of the skill,” he said.
Also NIHOTOUR’s Head, Tourism Development, Mr Enenta Edwin, said that the Institute’s training had gone beyond mere theory, adding that NIHOTOUR is capable of transforming the entire tourism and hospitality industries with the support of the stakeholders.
Dr Taiwo Famogbiyele, NIHOTOUR’s Head, General Studies, said the institute is embarking on some research work to ensure it becomes a bankable reference point in terms of data generation.
“We want to be known for producing bankable data so we are engaging stakeholders to carry out some research in order to have answers to some problems in the industry.
“We have also planned to wade into the challenge of unemployment in the country which had made some youths restive, embracing crime and all.
“We have also planned to develop skill acquisition programmes for the women and youths generally in the area of housekeeping and general cleaning, catering services and more,” he said.