Mrs Nkechi EjeleThe 1st Tourism Workshop of Stakeholders in the hospitality industry took place, Thursday, 18th September, 2014, at Nanet Suites, Central Business District, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, with the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, saying it was a demonstration of the present administration’s commitment to reposition the tourism industry for wealth generation and job creation.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, the Minister said the workshop, with the theme, “Tourism Expo for the Hospitality Industry to Boost Local and International Patronage as well as Employment Generation,” was also to provide a solid platform for stakeholders to deliberate on the growth of the tourism and hospitality industry in Nigeria through advisory and consultative processes.

According to Duke, it was also meant, among other things, to provide level-playing ground for stakeholders to appreciate trends, innovations and development in global tourism driven by fast-paced advances in information technology, and to synergize on the way forward for better service delivery for local and international patronage.

Concluding, the Minister stressed that with the talent, enthusiasm and huge potentials in the sector, he was confident that the sector would grow far beyond what it is now and contribute significantly to the national economy, urging hospitality stakeholders who are the vital face for Nigeria to be more proactive and make the best out of the many opportunities coming their way.

Two papers: “Domestic Tourism: A Catalyst for Rural Development in Nigeria,” by Mr. E. O. Benjamin, and “Hospitality Industry in the Midst of Security and Safety in Nigeria,” by Mr. John Akumba Adzer were presented at the Technical Session.Dr Ayakoroma and Mrs Abumere

Dignitaries at the event included the Executive Secretary of the National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, Director-General of National Institute for Hospitality for Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Mrs. Chika Balogun, Director of  International Cultural Relations in the Ministry, Mr. George Ufot, President Hotel Owners Forum Association (HOFA) and  Managing Director/CEO Nanet Hotels and Suites, Engr. Enomfon Ekon, the Chairman of Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Lagos State Chapter, Chief Ayodele Olumoko, Director-General, Bayelsa State Tourism Development Agency, Mrs. Ebizi Ndiomu-Brown, and the Director of Domestic Tourism in the Ministry, Dr. Paul Adalikwu (the host of the workshop), among others.

Njideka Dimgba

Corporate Affairs

NICO, Abuja