Tourism Professionals in Nigeria reject Proposed Tourism Bill



Posted by Sade Williams

In a unified voice Tourism professionals in Nigeria rose up to oppose the proposed Tourism bill by the National Assembly. The bill is the Nihotours Bill that will be available for Public hearing on the 15th of June.


All the major Tourism groupings including The National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents NANTA, the Nigerian Association for Tour Operators NATOP, The Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria ATPN and many other associations are all lined up to oppose the Bill.


The Tourism Journalists association ANJET had this to say about the bill

“Nihotour and its team are commended for this work (Proposed bill)but going through it critically, the motive and objective for the provisions need to be examined.


Nihotour has completely gone beyond its brief and what is expected of it. If it is a training institute then it should restrict itself to that regardless of the NOC/NOS/NBTE provisions.


What it is seeking to be with the full provisions of this bill is to become omnibus body and ombudsman of tourism, which shouldn’t be.


If allowed all the powers and functions that it has arrogated to itself what then becomes the function of NTDC and other bodies and agencies within the country and value chain of tourism and other training institutions in the country.


If this bill goes then we have signed the death knell of hospitality and tourism in the country with everyone under the mercies and dictates of Nihotour and who knows what will become even if international hotel brands and experts.


In our opinion, this bill should be totally discarded and fought against in a more organised and concerted manner.


Nihotour is operating in a different planet and not this planet or country.

Ikechi Uko, a.k.a. Mr. Tourism, publisher, ATQ magazine and organiser, Akwaaba Travel market, Nigeria

Ikechi Uko, a.k.a. Mr. Tourism, publisher, ATQ magazine and organiser, Akwaaba Travel market, Nigeria

The first thing that should even concern us is to ask for the proper definition of: catering, hospitality and tourism industry, because these are critical words that Nihotours has employed in this bill and is assuming authority and control over everyone in the various sections.


It didn’t properly define these words and even when it attempted to do so in THE THIRD SCHEDULE, it does so in a fraudulent manner and merely just listed every operations or enterprises without giving definition of each and why we should all now come under it.


This bill should, therefore not pass in its entirety otherwise we are in trouble and would end up creating a monster that will end up consuming everyone and destroy our industry”

In its reaction to the proposed bill, the Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria ATPN said:


“We must do all what is possible to stop this obnoxious bill. We should also be present at the public hearing to vehemently oppose the bill.”


The Institute of Tourism professionals had this to say according “The proposed bill did not take cognisance of the Supreme Court judgement of 19th July 2013 which pronounced that” The house of Assembly of Lagos state is the body entitled to the exclusion of any other legislative body, to enact laws with regards to rendering technical advise to the Lagos state and local government in the field of tourism.


The bill seeks to negate the new Executive Order of the Acting President on the Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria as it seeks to great Bottlenecks for Tourism Proffesionals

Distinguished Senators are therefore urged not to support illegality.”


A leading member of Nigerian Zoo Owners Association was alarmed on reading the details of the proposed bill and called it “a Rent seekers mentality.


They want to police the industry when they actually have little to offer

In a highly professional sector that is largely operated by the private sector, I see self regulation by the professional bodies of practitioners as most ideal.”


The Nigerian Association of Tour Operators NATOP says the bill is an attempt to corner and colonize Tourism by a training school and should be discouraged wondering why an institute wants to overreach itself.


Other stakeholders were of the Opinion that Nihotours should aspire to compete with Tourism schools like Utalli College in Kenya instead of trying to become a trainer a court and a regulator at the same time. Imagine Nigerian Law school combining the role of NBA and NJC Along with its training role. Another Writers Association ATTWON lents its voice also.”


NIHOTOUR was established as an academic institution not a regulator of hospitality outlets in the industry. As an academic body, it has failed to deliver on its set Instead of adding value to the industry, NIHOTOUR has become a liability as we could not really point out their impact in the industry.


It is sad that a government agency can flagrantly disobey the highest court in the land and its judgement? We are calling on FG as a matter of urgency to replace the head of the agency and the management which has not contributed to the industry buy drawing us back to the dark ages. ATTWON, Association of Travel and Tourism Writers of Nigeria.”


It will be recalled that a petition published by written by a former student of Nihotours shows that the institute has been failing in its core mandate and should not begin to confer more duties on itself. Below is the petition sent to Mr. Ikechi Uko by the aggrieved Students.


“Please Mr Tourism, I want you to use your influence and connection to intervene in the repositioning and better management of the NIHOTOUR.


The institute has indeed lost focus and consist of square pegs in round hole.

If merging it with NTDC or NICO will sustained her as contained in Orosanye report so be it as it’s becoming a waste to the Federal Government as it has personnel that are more than necessary and irrelevant to the Institute.


Imagine an apex Hospitality Tourism Institute without an enabling law till now after carving out of NTDC. From a training Dept to become a full-fledged parastatal of Federal Government.


I keep remembering our performance during the first to third yearly AKWAABA and compared to non-appearance again.


You may to find a time to visit the Institute in Lagos and Osogbo Campuses to confirm. Or get to Mr Wale Odeyemi or Alhaji Sharif to confirm the situations before and after their retirements.


Out of about 75 staff in a particular department hardly you can get up to 20 productive staff and same to other campuses because only few are relevant to the institute.


And this amount to waste of human resources and personnel cost. Rather they should be paired to other ministries and dept. or agency that they will be better productively used and be an asset than liabilities to the Federal Government.


It’s very pathetic that such institute of Tourism wasn’t adequately productive and wasting.

The PGD wasn’t accredited as the institute wasn’t affiliated to any Tertiary Institutions like NICO to OAU Ife.


May God continue to sustain and strengthen you in the cause of your developing and making Tourism a major and best source of revenue than oil to Nigeria.”






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