The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCT) says emphasis must to be placed on better service delivery if the country were to unbundle the tourism sector and make it a major revenue earner.
These views were expressed by the FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello recently when a delegation from the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Area11, Garki 1 District, Abuja.
According to the FCT Minister, the complaint generally by most people that visit the country is that the quality of service being provided is not good enough when compared to what is obtainable in other climes.
His words, “A lot of people get put off by the way we receive them at the airports, the way we treat them in the buses, the way treat them at the hotel reception points, the way we clean their rooms and the way we provide them service generally. I think if as Nigerians we are able to really improve on that aspect, it’s going to be a huge catalyst in trying to revamp and really get the full potential of the tourism sector,” he stressed.
Malam Bello said operators in the sector must change their attitude towards service delivery by ensuring that the environment is clean and available facilities work to optimum standards if they were to turn around the fortunes of the industry.
“We have to work on service delivery. It’s not really the quality or sophistication of what we provide. Some of the places you go, you find that really, the furniture is simple, locally made, the buildings are locally made. But the facilities work. The cleanliness is emphasized”.
The Minister reiterated the willingness of the FCT Administration to partner with the stakeholders in the tourism sector by making available accurate data of all tourist destinations in the FCT as well as facilities for the training and retraining of manpower in the sector.
He said, “The social secretariat will provide you with all what we have in terms of tourist sites, in terms of facilities that we have that could serve as meeting points as you train, facilities that have some semblance of accommodation that you can house youngsters that you want to train for a week or two”.
“So, any requirement that will involve partnering with you and the other agencies will, we will do it. In the FCT within our agencies, we have units and departments really specifically meant to cater for this and in the past, we’ve had a lot of interventions,” the Minister emphasized.
Malam Bello while stressing that the FCT Administration shares the vision of achieving a massive turnaround in the tourism sector, however called for synergy among the major players in the industry.
Earlier in her remarks, the DG, NIHOTOUR, Mrs. Chika Balogun said there is need to reposition the FCT to become a major destination that will attract conferences, not only within Nigeria but from the West African sub-region as well as the rest of the world.
“We have to be a conference destination that is actually dedicated to going to solicit for those things and doing all the needful for us to begin to attract conferences to Nigeria. It is a sign of very big business and one low hanging fruit that we can very easily pluck.
“We will like to partner with you in terms of training and retraining the manpower within the FCT. We would like to be your number one partner in terms of training especially within the hospitality and tourism industry,” the DG said.