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20th September, 2013.
Right-Left: The Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Munzali Dantata, Governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Wada and Secretary to the State Government, Professor Olugbemiro Jegede at the sensitisation workshop recently.

NIHOTOUR sensitises stakeholders in Lokoja

To reposition the hospitality and tourism stakeholders for better outputs in Nigeria, the apex training agency, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) recently, organised a two-day sensitisation workshop for the stakeholders with the theme: "NIGERIA AT 100: TRANSFORMING THE TOURISM INDUSTRY FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT".

The workshop, highly educative was held at the famous Confluence Beach Hotel, Lokoja on September 12 - 13, 2013. The forum played host to who-is-who in the hospitality and tourism sector from various states, among who are commissioners, permanent secretaries, tourism boards, hoteliers, members of the public and host of others too numerous to mentioned.

In his welcome address, the Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Munzali Dantata showered encomium on the tourism-friendly Governor of Kogi State, Capt. Idris Wada who was personally present to declare the workshop opened.

"Tourism has become a popular global leisure activity. Tourism is important, and in some cases, vital for many countries as an activities essential to the life of a nations because of its direct effects on the social, cultural, educational, and economic sectors of national societies and on their international relations", Dantata said.

Dantata further said, "It is paramount to organise this workshop as in our usual practice, to serve as another way to orientate and educate the stakeholders in the sector on how to be more relevant and up to date in the hospitality and tourism world".

The NIHOTOUR boss disclosed that Lokoja was picked for the workshop in line with the theme of the workshop and the significance of Lokoja in the history of Nigeria centenary celebration.

Likewise, the NIHOTOUR helmsman commended Governor Idris Wada on his selfless efforts and support on the master plan for tourism development in Kogi state. He applauded the governor for the renovation going on at the prestigious hotel and appealed that the government should let the project see the light of the day because Confluence Beach Hotel stands in better position to contest with other notable hotels in Nigeria.

In his address, Governor Idris Wada said the choice of Lokoja for the sensitization workshop is a thing of joy to him. He commended the efforts of NIHOTOUR in promoting tourism and with due recognition accorded the State in the centenary celebration and especially the Lokoja factors in the history of the country.

Governor Wada said, as a way to get the state involved fully in the centenary celebration, a formidable committee has been constituted with the Secretary to the State Government, Professor Olugbemiro Jegede as the chairman.

"The theme of this sensitization workshop is timely and I want to use this platform to invite private investors and stakeholders to come to the state as my government have prepared an enabling environment", Governor Wada said.

Governor Wada hinted, "Kogi State is richly blessed with many fascinating tourist attractions. Presently, we have embarked on some projects and renovation of our tourist attractions as a way to attract visitors to the state. I can assure you that by the time you are here, you will be seeing the beauty of Confluence Beach Hotel that is undergoing renovation now at its best".

The speakers teaches on various topics like; "An Overview of the Tourism Industry in Nigeria" by Mr. John Akumba Adzer, Tourism Consultant; "Concepts of Operation and Tour Guiding" by Abdulhamid Sheriff, Director, Travel and Tourism Management, NIHOTOUR; "Challenges of Accessing and Utilizing Fund by the Hospitality and Tourism SME's" by Sunday Victor Jimoh, a Lokoja based tourism consultant.

Other topics addressed at the forum are; "Exploring and Promoting the Tourism Potentials of Nigeria for Effective Transformation" by Philip Egga Maga, Academic Secretary, NIHOTOUR and "Quality Services in the Hospitality Sub-Sector" by Ladi T. Dakwo, Director, Planning Consultancy and Information Services, NIHOTOUR.

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