Tourism Minister lauds NIHOTOUR’s Mobile Training Kitchen

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…Says it will contribute to advancement of trade, catering services, economy

By Palma Ileye

Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John, has commended NIHOTOUR’s Mobile Training Kitchen saying that that the project will significantly contribute to the advancement of trade and catering services in communities where the institutes campuses were not yet established.

Speaking today during the launch of the Mobile Training Kitchen in Abuja, Ade-John stated that the Mobile Training Kitchen signifies the commencement of a series of transformative initiatives within the hospitality sector.

She said that the innovative project underscores the President’s Renewed Hope Agenda and highlights the Government’s unwavering commitment to fostering growth, empowerment, and culinary excellence within the nation.

According to her, Nigeria’s cultural diversity and culinary heritage have long been a source of pride for the people, both within the country, diaspora, and among the global consumer adding that, “Our cuisine mirrors the vibrancy of our communities, showcasing unique flavours that define us.”

She said, “Today’s unveiling of the Mobile Training Kitchen marks a pivotal moment in our journey to further elevate our culinary skills, promote tourism, and empower our citizens worldwide, establishing Nigeria as a recognised centre of excellence.

“The Mobile Training Kitchen transcends its role as a mere vehicle; it stands as a symbol of inspiration and opportunity for communities across the nation. This mobile unit will be one of many to traverse urban and rural areas, delivering hands-on culinary training to aspiring local cooks, food enthusiasts, and entrepreneurs.”

The Minister noted that the initiative aligns seamlessly with the vision to leverage the potential of the rich culinary heritage, cultivating skilled professionals who can significantly contribute to the growth of the tourism sector.

She stated that equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, the mobile kitchen will ensure that the trainees receive top-notch education and practical experience, saying that the
curriculum encompasses a wide array of training that will enhance the culinary skills of traditional Nigerian dishes, catering to the diverse tastes within Nigeria and a global audience.

“Collaborating with local communities for the sourcing of fresh, locally-produced ingredients not only enhances the quality of our dishes but also promotes sustainable practices and supports local farmers, contributing to the economic development of our communities.

“As we continue on this transformative journey, I extend a call to the private sector, culinary schools, and industry stakeholders to unite with the Government in ensuring the resounding success of initiatives like this. Your support is crucial in making projects like the Mobile Training Kitchen a source of motivation, nurturing a new generation of skilled cooks poised to not only tantalise taste buds but also propel the growth of our hospitality and tourism sectors.”

She expressed gratitude to all those who have been instrumental in bringing this visionary project to life, with a special mention to NIHOTOUR who have taken it upon themselves to deliver the Mobile Training Kitchen.

“Together, let us kindle the flame of gastronomic excellence, celebrate our unique flavours, and firmly establish Nigeria as a global culinary destination. And may this Mobile Training Kitchen serve as a continued beacon, promoting Nigeria’s prosperity and culinary brilliance for generations to come,” she added.

Also, Director General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, NIHOTOUR, Alh Sani Nura Kangiwa noted that one of the pre-requisites for tourism and hospitality industry to develop and play the desired role in the socio-economic life of a nation was the availability of well trained personnel stressing that indeed, no amount of investments in either infrastructure or in expanding tourism capacity in Nigeria that will ever be successful unless the necessary manpower in the required numbers and at the required levels of knowledge and skills are provided to manage the sector.

Kangiwa stated that NIHOTOUR as the apex Institute saddled with the responsibility of training and developing human capacity in the Hospitality and Tourism industry will continue to play a significant role in this direction.

He said more importantly, the institute will also continue to promote professionalism of the sector, through training and re-training and certification of personnel in the industry.

He also said, “I must say that our commitment to the growth of the Hospitality and Tourism sector in Nigeria and by extension, improvement in the quality of service delivery by personnel that run the sector underlies the acquisition of this Mobile Training Kitchen Truck. As at today, NIHOTOUR is strategically located in 10 campuses across the six geopolitical zones of the country. Many of these campuses are in the metropolis and so there is a need to reach people in the hinterland.

“It is our belief that the Mobile Training Kitchen Truck will not only contribute significantly to achieving our goal of taking training closer to the stakeholders, but also enhance our market presence, and expand our reach within the industry.”

The NIHOTOUR boss explained that youth unemployment remains the socio-economic concern as it poses a lot of challenges to the social, political and economic development of all countries around the world, and Nigeria is no exception adding that, “It is no wonder that job creation is one of the key areas in which Mr. President’s administration hopes to leave an indelible mark. Tourism and Hospitality has the vibrancy and potency to help the government achieve this goal. There are a lot of entrepreneurial skills people can acquire in the subsectors of tourism and hospitality such as tour guiding, tour operation, travel agency operation, event management, hospitality management, pastry and cookery practice.

“In a world of unemployment, these skills will translate into gainful employment, employer of labour, self-reliance, wealth creation for our youths and above all, end the restlessness which is usually associated with poverty.”