The Benue State Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) to establish a campus of the institute in the state.
Gov. Samuel Ortom signed on behalf of his state, while Mrs Chika Balogun, the Director-General of NIHOTOUR signed for the institute.
Balogun said that Benue had been adjudged to be one of the most hospitable states in the country.
“I will adjudge the state as one of the first three in Nigeria, and they are taking Hospitality and Tourism seriously and decided to do it in a scientific way.
“Since Hospitality and Tourism are dependent on the quality of training of the people who run the industry, Benue people will soon begin to get results and desired effect of Hospitality and Tourism.
“Hospitality and Tourism are all about services, so global best practices can only be achieved through training and re- training.
“So this training of the people of the state will help their entrepreneurial skills to become employers of labour,’’ she said.
Also speaking, Otorm commended Balogun for her passion and commitment in trying to bring the institute to the state.
“We are very happy and proud to be associated with the institute because what you are doing right now is the right step in the right direction.
“The price of crude oil is going down every day, so there is an urgent need to quickly take action and look for ways to add value to the economy.
“For us in Benue state, tourism readily comes to mind and we are lucky to have several places of interest where we have comparative advantage.
“The state has agriculture, solid minerals and culture, tourism and hospitality and we are happy you are coming in at this time,’’ he said
Otorm described the project as a noble one and promised to support the institute in building the capacity of the people of the state.
“This is a noble course that will not die and on our part, we will do everything possible to support our Ministry of Arts and Culture to make sure that this project takes off as soon as possible.
“We are committed to it and will keep to our agreement and will also want to see it take off within the shortest time to see the graduates of this institute as soon as possible,’’ he said.
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