By Joyce Remi- Babayeju
The Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Nura Sani Kangiwa has stated that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Institute and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) would close the existing data-gap in the hospitality and tourism industry of the country.
Kangiwa noted the agreement will further deepen statistical development of sectoral databank necessary for planning within the sector.
Kangiwa who stated this in Abuja during the signing ceremony of the MOU with the NBS stressed that Statistics are critical to research, national planning, sound policy development and informed business decisions.
He disclosed that data is key to research which is an integral part of NIHOTOUR’s mandate.
In view of this he said that it is imperative to seek partnership with NBS as an exclusive agency.
He said for NIHOTOUR to effectively carry out its mandate as a research and allied institution saddled with the responsibility of training of manpower needs in the Hospitality and Tourism industry as well as Coordinator of the Sector Skill Council in Nigeria, the Institute has established a vibrant Research and Development Unit to conduct industry-based research and generate data for the use of the industry, adding that partnership with NBS will fast-track the duties and functions of the agency.
Furthermore, Kangiwa called for better synergy, cooperation and understanding in the successful implementation of the agreement for the benefit of the two agencies for effective discharge of their mandates, and for the socio-economic benefits of the country in general.
The Statistician General of the Federation, Dr. Simon B. Harry, reiterated the relevance of data in policy formulation and implementation for national growth and development, assuring that NBS is prepared to work assiduously with NIHOTOUR in its efforts at addressing the dearth of accurate data in the nation’s hospitality and tourism industry.
Dr. Harry who observed that the absence of accurate data has been the bane for the abysmal performance of sectoral industrial growth and development, further noted that figures and information gathered cannot be said to be usable data until they are found to be accurate, verifiable, accessible, and available for user needs which essentially is what the Bureau intends to achieve for all sectors of the country.
He then stated that the partnership between the Bureau and NIHOTOUR is a welcome development, adding that he looks forward for more of such partnerships with other Ministries, Agencies and Departments in the public sector as well as the Organized Private Sector for the general and overall growth and development of the country.