The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) has conferred its Fellowship Awards on HRM Oba Kabiru Adelaja Agbabiaka, the Osolo of Isolo, Lagos State and Alhaji Samaila Muhammad Mera, the Emir of Argungu, Kebbi State for their contribution to the growth and development of the Hospitality and Tourism sector in Nigeria.
The monarchs were given the award at the Gala/Investiture Night of the 2022 Sustainable Gastronomy Day organised by NIHOTOUR on Saturday at the International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Others who were named among the roll of honour at the event include King Appolus Chu, Oneh-Eh Nchia X of Eleme Kingdom, Chief(Mrs) Nike Okundaye, CEO of Nike Center for Art and Culture, Chief Samuel Alabi and Dr(Mrs) Ifeoma Adaora Anyanwutaku,Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Information and Culture.
According to the organisers, the Osolo of Isolo was given the recognition for “his visionary approach to issues and contribution to the growth and development of the Hospitality and Tourism sector in Nigeria, while the Emir of Argungu was honoured “for his contribution to the growth and development of the Hospitality and Tourism sector in Nigeria, especially in revamping of the Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival.”
Alhaji Nura Sani Kangiwa, Director-General of NIHOTOUR, said the award was to recognized individuals who have contributed in the different ways towards ensuring that the Hospitality and Toursim sector thrives and contribute more to national economy.
He said the Sustainable Gastronomy Day celebration and and the awards would henceforth be an annual event to serve as a platform for showcasing Nigerian food and to further recognized stakeholders’ contributions to the development of the hospitality and tourism sector.
In his remark, the Osolo of Isolo said : “To my family, and my kingdom,this is a huge recognition and a call for more commitment on my part to sustainably strive to ensure the environment that robustly supports tourism and hospitality against the background of present security challenges.
“Oil and its derivatives are no longer reliable sources of revenue for the government for obvious reasons, such as global trend for better and cheaper alternatives, hence the need for us to give topmost priority to hospitality and tourism as essential sources of revenue.
“I Seize this opportunity to charge all Traditional Rulers here and away to start to accelerate actions that will make Nigeria a foremost tourists destination by helping and supporting our various levels of Government to secure our local environments.
“I thank the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism again for the award, and I wish them rising positive impact on promoting tourism and hospitality in Nigeria.”
In his congratulatory message to the recipients of the award, Alhaji Adedayo Thomas, Executive Director/CEO, National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) said that the recognition was an indication that the Federal Government deeply appreciates those who were striving to ensure that every sector of the economy contributes to GDP.
He therefore urged the awardees, especially the traditional rulers to keep working towards maintaining the peace and tranquility in their respective kingdoms, as tourism and hospitality businesses only thrive in a peaceful environment.