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FG reviews tourism, hotels standardization policies, Commends NIHOTOUR on her 7th edition of Annual Master Lecture Series

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*By Francis Wilfred*
The Minister of Tourism, Mrs. Lola Ade-John has embarked on standardizing hotels across the country and talking to various communities to engage in better food and farming practices to enhance healthy food productions.
She made this declaration during the 7th edition of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) Annual Master Lecture Series event held on Thursday, May 30, 2024 in Abuja with the theme: ‘Sustainable Food Production from Farm to the Table.
According to her, as part of President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, efforts are in place to meet certain targets, create job opportunities, improve practices and increase revenue in the tourism industry.
“As part of the renewed hope agenda, we are ensuring that we meet certain targets, improve job creation, increase revenue, better practices and also ensuring that we all work together with different stakeholders to achieve these objectives.
“We have reviewed existing tourism policies, standardizing hotels and we are working on our master plan, and setting the standards for our culinary skills and training.
Also, the Director General of NIHOTOUR, Nura Sani Kangiwa disclosed that this year’s lecture series is timely and relevant as the government is working toward enhancing food production and distribution systems in Nigeria. He also stated that NIHOTOUR is aiming not only at improving the availability and affordability of our food culture and lifestyle but also ensure that the quality, standards and nutritional value of the products reaching our tables comes from all channels of the value chains.
In a clear term, he also said that Tourism Gastronomy has created over 118 million jobs, translating to 3.8 per cent of global employment, as reported by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), stated that the hospitality and tourism sector has a specialized demand for occupational trade skills to produce tourism content across almost all the socio-economic sectors.
The DG stressed that the event underscores the critical importance of addressing food security, quality and accessibility in the country.
“This event is a testament to our commitment to academic excellence and professional development serving as a platform for fostering, adding also to the knowledge and its exchange, also in research and innovation in the field of hospitality and tourism.” He said.
He maintained that Nigeria, as a nation rich in agricultural resources, has the potential to become a key player in the global food market noting that these potentials can only be fully realized through systematic research, innovation and collaboration among various stakeholders thereby pressing for rigorous scientific inquiry and knowledge dissemination in the field of food production and management.
“It is imperative to state that the frontier of knowledge through research is on course. Therefore, as we convene for this 7th edition of the annual Master Lecture Series, the scholars are enjoined to renew collective commitment to advancing sustainable food production practices and elevating the food culture and culinary standards in our nation.”
“In the spirit of professionalizing the sector through academic and skill excellence, we are encouraged to engage in thoughtful discussions, share best practices and inspire new initiatives that will propel Nigeria towards a brighter and more prosperous future gastronomy destination.”
The National Leader of the Youth Tourism Development Organisation (YTDO), Emmanuel Okon emphasized the roles of youths in the hospitality and tourism industry which has contributed to the mainstream tourism development and revenue generation for the country.
The National Deputy President of the Federation of Tourism Association (FTAN), Badaki Aliyu said: “Today is an opportunity for us to learn more about things that happen around us in the tourism and hospitality industry and put them to use.”
While Dr Nathaniel Omotoba, Department of Tourism Development, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Lead paper presenter on Sustainable Food Production from Farm to Table highlighted the benefits which will promote locally grown food directly to the consumers.
Omotoba added that it would also ensure the seamless integration of sustainable, locally sourced food production into hospitality establishments.

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