[By VICTOR NZE]
President, World Craft Council (WCC) Africa Region, Otunba Segun Runsewe has proposed the certification and approval of entry regime and job profiling in the culture and tourism industry by the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).
Runsewe, who also doubles as Director General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), who was speaking during the just-concluded NIHOTOUR Master class Lectures in Abuja which held, Thursday, opined that the process will bring sanity to the tourism and hospitality industry in terms of training and capacity building, as well as enthrone standardization, eliminate quackery and portfolio training faculties and operators in addition to building confidence in service delivery in the industry.
“The Nigerian domestic tourism and hospitality industry is bedeviled with a very dangerous web of organised doubtful and fraudulent hospitality and tourism schools, with no visible measured contributions to the growth and development of services delivery expectations.
“NIHOTOUR remains the strong bridge that will check the rather unbecoming presence of fly by night hospitality training schools all over the country, particularly at time like this when Nigeria needs to capture the growth potentials of the entire gamut of culture and hospitality sector and effectively train our youths not only in vocational studies but to prepare them after formal academic trainings for job openings in the industry,” Runsewe stated.
He, however, bemoaned the poor teaching facilities at NIHOTOUR and urged the new leadership of the agency to overhaul all the training equipment in the Institute across the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria, adding that a refreshing training profile and environment will help the Federal Government funded hospitality training school to rebound and gain the confidence of the industry investors and Operators who are in search of quality middle and low level manpower.
“It is not the business of NTDC or NCAC to train the required industry manpower but that of NIHOTOUR. But sadly, the critical presence of the training needs of the industry has been systematically hijacked by questionable training colleges, foisting on the industry half baked and poorly trained service providers and manpower,” he further stated.
To stem the slide, Runsewe advocated that henceforth, NIHOTOUR certification must be the minimum entry regime for those seeking jobs in the industry. According to him, without this the industry would continue to grope in the darkness of effective service delivery needed to sustain the future growth of tourism and hospitality economy.
“I believe NIHOTOUR is the future and fulcrum to effectively champion sanity in all the training and retraining capacity in the sector. Lawyers after the mandatory course at our universities still have to go through training programmes at the law school before being certified to practice and same should be the face of training expectations and certification by NIHOTOUR.
“There are countries in Africa and Asia with this profile outlook, so NIHOTOUR must be at the forefront of this initiative and to help restore confidence in our service delivery and knowledge bank for the sector,” the DG of NCAC noted.
Runsewe also commended the ‘very aggressive drive’ of Alhaji Nura kangiwa, the newly-appointed Director General of NIHOTOUR to ‘change the narrative of the training institute and bring about world class training program to the benefit and advancement of Nigerian hospitality and tourism sector.’
“I believe that NIHOTOUR is lucky to have Nura Kangiwa and we know he has the capacity to create the needed enabling environment for the training institute and the work force in particular. The industry must support his vision and projects to revive and restore the lost glory of NIHOTOUR as deserving the presence across the west coast tourism training needs as was originally intended,” he added.