The Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism NIHOTOUR, Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa has stated that achieving the lofty goals of making the tourism industry of the country a goldmine will remain a mirage until the dearth and inadequacies of suitably trained and skilled personnel to operate the sector are addressed.

Kangiwa who stated this in a Goodwill message to the 2021 Tourism Transportation Summit and Expo held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja early in the week said the basis for which NIHOTOUR was set up was to address the skilled gaps of all cadre of personnel in the country’s travel tourism and hospitality.

While commending the National Tourism and Transportation Summit and Expo as another vibrant platform and avenue for the creation of the synergy required for tourism to thrive with transportation been a dependable ally, the Director General said the theme of the 2021 Summit and Expo which is Tourism Transportation Connectivity and Partnership: Leveraging the AfCFTA Regime for Economic Sustainability was very timely and in line with the desire of the tourism industry for the successful implementation of the AfCFTA trade agreements which promise to open trade and market frontiers for 54 African countries of a population of near 1.5 billion people.

He said when the AfCFTA regime finally takes off fully, it is expected to boost trade and activities in the travel tourism and hospitality industry requiring the services of professionals of the industry to deliver quality services to the large customer population of the African continent and promised that NIHOTOUR has set for itself the target, in line with its core mandate, to provide high and middle level cadre of manpower personnel that will effectively service the industry bearing in mind that the AfCFTA regime will create enormous demands of services of the industry.

While making bold to say that the initiative of the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN) to come up with the 2021 event in this manner was quite commendable and should be applauded, Kangiwa called on participants and Exhibitors at the event to come up with workable plans for Nigeria’s participation in the AfCFTA regime a beneficial one for the socio-economic good of the country.

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