The Director-General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Alhaji Nura Kangiwa has reiterated the importance of professional competence and certification in the effective handling of Hajj operations for Nigerian pilgrims as one of the conditional requirements by Authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Alhaji Kangiwa who made the disclosure when he visited the Chairman/CEO of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikirullah Kunle Hassan in his office, said this has necessitated the Institute to call for collaboration and partnership between NIHOTOUR and NAHCON so as to achieve the level of training, competence and professional certification of officials of the Hajj agency and all its partners involve in handling of Hajj operations from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia.
He said since its establishment over three decades ago, NIHOTOUR has trained over 10,000 certified IATA personnel in the nation’s Travel and Tourism industry and attained the best IATA training centre in Africa and among the top ten best IATA training centres globally, noting that with this track record of excellence NIHOTOUR is prepared to bring its vast material and manpower resources to bear in training and re-training of the manpower needs of the Hajj Commission.
In his response, Alhaji Zikirullah Kunle Hassan Chairman/CEO National Hajj Commission of Nigeria said NAHCON has all along been aware of the requirements by the Saudi authorities on professionalism, competence and IATA certification of officials and personnel handling Hajj operations into the Holy land, adding that the Commission gladly welcomes NIHOTOUR’s proposal to offer training for its staff and personnel.
Alhaji Hassan noted that the World is changing with the professionalization of every aspect of activities of our lives and the Hajj operation is not an exception, stressing that NIHOTOUR’s approach of the Commission to offer its training services couldn’t have come at a better time than now, particularly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which requires high level of professional conduct in the handling of future Hajj operations.
Present during the courtesy visit by the NIHOTOUR Director General were Management staff from both the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism and the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria.