Covid-19: FG pays 2,186 firms under payroll support ….Minister

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…. Advocates capacity building for tourism sector


The Federal Government has paid 2,186 companies employing 12,117 individuals under the payroll support as part of the efforts to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said.

Mohammed disclosed this in Makurdi, Benue State, on Monday at the formal take-off of the North Central Zonal Headquarters of the
Nigerian Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).

He said the Federal Government has been doing a lot to alleviate the impact of the pandemic, especially as it affects the
Creative and Tourism Sector, through its N75 billion Survival Fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.

The Minister also hailed the impact of the hospital industry in the country; saying tourism has now become a major catalyst for economic growth and social well-being of the citizenry in most countries around the world, especially the developing countries.

In Nigeria, he said, the Travel, Hospitality, Tourism and other related services have over 1 million private establishments employing
over 9.8 million persons in the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.

The minister said the hospitality industry in Nigeria contributed about 4.8% to Nigeria’s total national output (GDP) and utilized about
1.6% of Nigerians in the year 2016, adding that according to Pricewater house Cooper’s 2019 hospitality report, the Nigerian
hospitality industry was expected to grow by 12% yearly till 2023, making it one of the fastest growing markets, before the advent of

The minister also canvassed for training and retraining for players in the industry so as to maximize the potentials in the sector.
He said that capacity building for players in the tourism sector is key to the
development of the sector.

He said, “Now, one of the prerequisites for tourism to develop and play its
desired role in the socio-economic life of a nation is availability of
well-trained personnel. This forms the basis for the Federal Government’s decision to have a specialized training institution
forthe hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria, which culminated in the establishment of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).

“NIHOTOUR is a parastatal under the Federal Ministry of Information
and Culture, and it is saddled with providing skills proficiency,
technical upgrading programmes and professional knowledge-based
education in the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria and West
Africa,” he said.

He thanked the Benue State Governor, Mr. Samuel Ortom, for building
and donating the edifice to NIHOTOUR and described the gesture as a
giant stride in the development of tourism in the state and the
country in general.

“Your Excellency, I want to thank you most sincerely for promise made
and promise kept. The donation of this magnificent edifice shows your
commitment to the growth of the Hospitality and Tourism sector in
Benue state and, by extension, improvement in the quality of service
delivery by the personnel that run the sector. You have indeed taken a
giant stride in this Sector, and we are most grateful to you,” Alhaji
Mohammed said.

Earlier, Governor Ortom, accompanied by the Deputy Governor, Mr.
Benson Abounu, and the Commissioner for Information, Culture and
Tourism, Mrs. Ngunan Addingi, conducted the Minister and the Director
General of NIHOTOUR, Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, round the institute, which
will be offering Certificate, Basic Advanced Certificate, Diploma,
Professional Certificate and Post-Graduate Diploma in various fields
in tourism and hospitality.

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