By Jimoh Babatunde
Operators in the Nigerian hospitality industry have been urged to collaborate with the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR, in manpower and capacity development in the country.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, made the call at the commissioning of Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja, Wednesday.
He said the sustainability of growth in the hospitality industry is heavily dependent on the capacity of human resources and talent which NIHOTOUR was established to provide for the nation’s Tourism and Hospitality industry.
The Vice President, who spoke through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, also called on all stakeholders in the industry to place greater focus and priority on 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 is bouncing back after 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 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, 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.
Lagos Marriott Hotel Ikeja offers 206 guestrooms and 44 suites each with expansive views of the city. The spacious guestrooms are thoughtfully designed with contemporary décor and intuitive in-room amenities.
Also speaking at the opening, the Director-General National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR, Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa, expressed the institute readiness to work with Marriott Hotel and other hospitality and tourism establishments for capacity development and to bridge the requisite skills-gap in their operations.
He also revealed that NIHOTOUR will partner with investors in the hospitality sector to ensure they have a return on their investments as they provide direct and indirect employment to Nigerians.
Nura Kangiwa said, “as a matter of fact, the report of a recent survey on Domestic Tourism in Lagos State, conducted by the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, in partnership with the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that Tourism contributed 16.86 percent to GDP of Lagos State in 2017, the value of 4.6 trillion Naira.
“In 2018 it was 17.40 percent, valued at 5.5trillion Naira, in nominal terms; and in 2019, the contribution of tourism to GDP in Lagos was 15.80, valued at 6.2trillion Naira.
“More so, in terms of Employment, the survey further revealed that Tourism contributed 9.42 percent in 2017, representing 596,104 jobs; 9.93 per cent in 2018, representing 634,707 jobs and rose to 10.92 per cent in 2019, representing 705,119 jobs.”
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