The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako has affirmed that in the next 10 years, FUNAAB graduates would become captains of industries in the tourism and hospitality business in the country. The Vice-Chancellor expressed this optimism at the 13th National Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN) themed, “Expanding the Nigeria Economy: The Hospitality and Tourism Option”.
Represented by the Dean, Student Affairs, Prof. Babatunde Idowu, the Vice-Chancellor stated that FUNAAB was working tremendously to produce graduates that would fit into any industry in Nigeria. Prof. Salako stressed that FUNAAB always puts into consideration, societal needs before developing its curriculum, saying “We don’t use cast-iron approach in developing our curriculum. We are always mindful of what is going on around us and that is why every five years, we take time to review our curriculum, so that the graduates we produce can walk into Nigerian industries and make strong impact”.
Prof. Salako disclosed that hospitality and tourism industry was another viable option to diversify Nigerian economy and develop its potentials. He noted that the Department of Hospitality and Tourism of FUNAAB was built to raise the manpower that could help to develop the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria. He assured that in the next 10 years, FUNAAB graduates would be on top of the industry in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Engr. (Mrs.) Noimot Salako-Oyedele, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ogun State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Alhaja Salimot Ottun equally tasked members of HATMAN to seize the opportunity of this year’s national conference and come up with ideas that could bring investors to the hospitality and tourism business. According to the Deputy Governor, “Hospitality and tourism professionals must come up with robust ideas and policy that can help cause workable choice on new economic frontiers”. The Deputy Governor reiterated that professional hospitalists should look into the areas where they can contribute positively to the economy of the nation. While delivering her address, Alhaja Ottun, who spoke through Mr. Michael Ogunbiyi, urged Nigerians to pay proper attention to hospitality and tourism so as to diversify the country’s economy.
She noted that hospitality and tourism industry was another promising sector that could bring out Nigeria’s potentials and applauded the role of HATMAN in revitalising tourism, noting that the association had been playing tremendous role since its inception. The National President of HATMAN, Mr. Samson Aturu had earlier expressed his delight that this year’s conference was held within the university environment. He added that the association had been looking for avenues for universities to see hospitality and tourism as a viable course that could help to fill the gap in the human capital development plans needed for the industry to actualise its dream. Mr. Aturu urged Nigerians to embrace tourism if the country truly intended to diversify its economy because after crude oil, tourism was the only way to pull Nigeria out of economic recession.