The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has inaugurated the Board of Directors and Trustees of the governing board of the Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skills Council of Nigeria (HTSSCN) with a charge to take the sector to the next level.
Inaugurating the board, on Thursday, in Abuja, the minister, who was represented by Mrs Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, said the board would help in enhancing the growth and development of the sector by living beyond expectations in actualising the dream of the sector.
According to him, the composition of the board membership cut across the private sector driven union, national bodies and stakeholders, who were fully involved with professional skills, operations and services.
He added that the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) being the regulating board, has spelt out the roles and responsibilities that would be carried out by employers.
This, he said, would fulfill the development of the trade union, professional bodies, and other key players, through a structured platform of the council.
” You may wish to note that the Federal Executive Council ( FEC) in 2013, approved the National Skills Qualification Framework (NSQF), and setting up sector skill council for the selection of pilot sectors of the economy.
” You are among those carefully nominated due to your dedication, and selfless services to the growth of the sector.
” I approved the representation at both board of directors and trustees of the council, while other members are drawn from the private sector, to the employer-led member organisations as represented by your presence as you are inaugurated.
”As I congratulate all members here present, I also encourage us all to put in our best to move the sector forward,” he said.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the Council’s Board of Directors, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, pledged that the board members would pursue their mandate effectively and add value to the goals of the council.
According to him, the goals were to address the challenges of delivering the qualifications, which include occupational skills and gaps between qualifications and the requirements of the labour market.
Also, lack of consistency in qualifications; absence of a system for comparing qualifications to each other; pathways of progression between qualifications, which were unclear, and unclear value of qualifications to employers and learners, amongst others.
Odusanwo said that the NSQF was to provide fit-for-purpose qualifications that have stronger linkages with the labour market and learners’ needs.
” It is our resolve that, serving as governing board members, our operational commitment shall be to strive to address the identified challenges.
” This is for us to achieve its vision and the development of a comprehensive ‘National Occupational Standard’ for the sector, that will extend across all field of education and training , irrespective of the nature or form of learning.
” We shall reach out to the key players who are both formal, non- formal master craft persons and employers of the same trade, but yet to form unions or association to do so.
”If we can identify, engage and admit them into the council for optimal productivity and labour workforce development we will do so,” Odusanwo said.
He commended the stakeholders for supporting the private sector-led initiative of the public institution and graciously approving the operations of the council.
Also speaking, Alhaji Tijani Danzabuwa, Chairman board of Trustees, promised to assiduously ensure the pursuit of the council’s vision with zeal and passion.
” Given our wealth of experience and positions as private sector employers and stakeholders, we shall double our efforts towards advocating for improved quality service delivery in the industry.
” I am using this medium to call on all the unions, associations, professional bodies, the academia and employers at both the macro and micro levels, to cooperate among ourselves.
” Cooperate in the area of taking advantage of the council’s engagement forum, to empower our generations with skilfull occupational trade qualifications, to advance productivity, generate employment and reduce youths restiveness,” he said.
Earlier, in his address of welcome, Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, Director- General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), described the inauguration of the governing board of the sector skills council as setting another milestone in the desire to institutionalise the council.
According to him, regarding the constitution of the board, deliberate efforts were taken to ensure the representation of a strictly private sector driven employer-led stakeholders across the trade unions.
” We are, however, aware that some specialised sector trade service providers and operators are yet to form their specialised trade unions, associations or professional bodies.
” The council is encouraging such specialised trade operators to form a united body, so that we can identify and engage them for admission into the council in the dispensation of our activities,” Kangiwa said.
NIHOTOUR boss appreciated the minister for graciously approving the list of nominees into the board.
The News Agency of Niger(NAN) reports that members of the board of directors included: Mrs Susan Akporiaye, President, National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mrs Patricia Narai, Director Domestic & Eco Tourism Department.
Others were, Mrs Kinabalu Timothy, Event worth, Mr Ikechi Uko, organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market.
While, members of the Board of Trustees were, Alhaji Tijani Danzabuwa, Mrs Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, Director-General National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR). (NAN)