The newly-appointed Director-General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR, Mrs. Chika Balogun, has promised to improve on the Institute’s condition of service to enable it meet the challenges facing the agency, especially in the areas of quality service delivery in the hospitality and tourism industry.

NIHOTOUR was created 1994 and saddled with responsibility of providing a developmental manpower programme to improve the quality of service in the hospitality and tourism industry by introducing professional, technical and specialized training, as well as post-graduate course in the travel and tourism and hospitality fields.

Mrs. Balogun was the former Senior Special Assistant (Special Duties) to the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke. She took over the mantle of leadership of the institute from the acting DG, Alhaji Abdul Maji Sheriff. She disclosed that, she aimed as Director-General of NIHOTOUR is to reposition the agency for effective and efficient service delivery.

Speaking at the handling over ceremony in Abuja, Balogun said she believed in team work and with the cooperation of management and staff, they would overcome challenges. “I believe in teamwork and I am familiar with some challenges and programmes of the institute. I believe very soon we will make headway and move this sector forward.”

On the issue of training and capacity building, she said, “This is the powerhouse of this sector. I promise to work hard to achieve this and I expect the same work from everybody. We will look for avenues of increasing the quality of our training and NIHOTOUR must have its own hotel to train people.”

In his remarks, the outgoing DG, Abdulhameed Sheriff said the problem faced by the institute was inadequate funding, adding that this had been preventing the institute from getting training hotel which is germane to the realization of their mandate.

“The inability of the institute to own a 5-Star hotel was a major setback in carrying out training programme. Our counterparts have 5-Star hotels as their training hotel and we don’t have any training hotel. We only work on papers and sometimes reach agreement with friendly hotels to send our staff and students for training,” he lamented.

Meanwhile, the federal government through the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, also announced the appointment of Mrs. Dayo Keshi, Director-General of National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC); while Sir Ferdinand Anikwe was appointed as the Director-General of Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, CBAAC.

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