Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Friday, 4th July, called on all regulatory agencies and other stakeholders in the Tourism Sector to collaborate with the Management of the state owned International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality to actualise the goals for which it was established.
Governor Dickson, who made the call while commissioning the Institute along Elebele/AIT Road in Yenagoa, described the facility as the first ever International Tourism and Hospitality Institute, set up to train both middle and senior level manpower in the sector within and outside the country.
According to him, the completion of the Institute, which will issue certificates in line with international standards, underscores government’s determination to develop the tourism industry as part of efforts towards the diversification of the state’s economy and create job opportunities for Bayelsans to enable them contribute their quota to the economy.
His words: “We are here to make a statement about our seriousness to make tourism a major plank for the diversification of the economy of our state. Hopefully that will also impact on the national economy.
“We are also making a statement that tourism is a serious business. I would like to use this opportunity to call on all the regulatory agencies and other bodies and those that are working with this Institute, the Rector and his team to ensure that the objectives of this Institute are met. This Institute is meant to bring opportunities to our people here in Yenagoa.
“We want to begin the process of training people in the tourism industry. I want to particularly call on the youths of Bayelsa to take advantage of the various opportunities we have created for them. Get enrolled into this Institute and several others that we have built for you so that those of you who want to pursue a career in tourism and hospitality will get an opportunity to be trained.”
Consequently, the governor enjoined Bayelsans, particularly the youths to take advantage of the opportunities provided by his administration through various institutions set up to build their capacities and advance their careers.
The Honourable Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, commended the state government for being in the vanguard of advocating the development of the culture and tourism sector in preparation for an economy beyond oil and gas.
He noted that, Governor Dickson has exhibited sufficient commitment with the huge investments made in the tourism sector and urged the people to key into the vision of the present administration for its transformation initiatives to be translated into reality.
Also speaking, the Rector of the International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Professor Prince Efere, said the Institute, when operational, would be self-funding towards generating revenue for the state.
Professor Efere expressed the Institute’s intention to attract foreign students as well as other Europeans, whom he said have shown interest in contributing to the development of the institution.
Dignitaries who witnessed the ceremony were the High Commissioners of Trinidad and Tobago, Nyahuma Obika, Vice-President of the World Fashion Organisation, Europe, Mr. Borgogelli Percario, Patron of the Africa Fashion Organisation Africa, Mrs. Merit Gordon Obua and top government functionaries.