The Director General of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Otunba Segun Segun, has recommended the need for workers and operators in the Nigerian tourism sector to place more emphasis on professionalism by making the possession of tourism and hospitality qualification as one of the pre-requisites for employment in the sector.
Runsewe, who is also the President, World Craft Council (WCC) Africa Region, therefore, proposed the certification and endorsement of entry regime and job profiling in the tourism and hospitality industry in Nigeria by the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR). He made this recommendation during NIHOTOUR’s inaugural master class lectures held recently in Abuja, saying that he believes the process will bring sanity to the sector by ensuring professionalism, capacity, and enthronement of standardisation, so as to eliminate quackery and portfolio training faculties and operators from the system. According to Runsewe, the Nigerian tourism is bedeviled by very dangerous web of organised doubtful and fraudulent hospitality and tourism schools, with no visible and measured contributions to the growth and development of services delivery.
‘‘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 a time like this when Nigeria need to capture the growth potential of the entire gamut of culture and tourism sector for the effective training of our youths not only in vocational studies but to prepare them after formal academic trainings for job openings in the industry,” he said.
He, however, lamented the poor teaching environment in NIHOTOUR and urged the new DG, Nura Kangiwa, to overhaul all the training facilities in the institute across the six geo-political zones of the country, adding that a refreshing training profile and environment will help the federal government funded tourism school to rebound and gain the confidence of investors and operators in the sector, who are in search of quality middle and low level manpower.
To stem the tide, Runsewe advocated that henceforth, NIHOTOUR’s certification should be the minimum entry regime for those seeking jobs in the industry, without which the industry would continue to grope in the dark. Runsewe also commended the aggressive drive of kangiwa, in his bid to change the narrative of the training institute and bring about world class training programmes to the benefit and advancement of Nigerian 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 workforce 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 Africa coast of tourism training needs as was originally intended, said Runsewe.