Nura Kangiwa: Giving mobility sense to industry vocational education
By Frank Meke
It was a beautiful Tuesday morning in Abuja last week, and a mixture of industry players and government officials added to the fun. It’s been a while that am opportuned to meet lots of old friends in the sector, and including the younger ones.
So what have we come to see? A beautiful bus converted into a mobile kitchen, decked in bold and beautiful Nigerian colours or the Nigerian Minister of Tourism, anglic and beautiful lola Ade John or the gangling , tall and handsome chief executive officer of Nigeria’ foremost tourism industry training institute, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism, Alhaji Nura Kangiwa?
I was just concerned about the deep thought process that gave birth to the initiative on display and won’t play the mind reader at all. Not today, I whispered to myself. My sister, nanta president, Mrs Susan Akporiaye rescued from getting lost in this part of Abuja that resembled the city of Los Angeles.
Certainly, to most people, however, mobile kitchens are not new or novel, so they might have come to see in flesh and body, the appreance of the minister of tourism who has been off the beat due to health issues and for me too, it was cheering to see her seated even before that simplistic and arrogant ntda leader walked in to distrupt my thoughts.
Two things were on showcase and open for deeper interpretation. The first lies in having a leader who thinks deep, takes bold steps to bring about changes, and above all, better the lots of the people. So as long as they make the people centre point of their achievement metrics, who cares if eat pounded yam for dinner. Who care!!?
Here,Nura Sani Kangiwa stands out. Though he started slowly but he connected first with the private sector to know where to birth his action plans. I have been privileged to know this young administrator of Nihotour for years, and we belong to the same industry change agents group. Unfortunately, and as part of growth pangs, we differ over certain developmental issues and to which those around fests on to build walls. We know that if our friends fail, it will tell on our image so we process our suggestions and advise boldly to our friends without being confrontational.
However, Nura Kangiwa can break ceilings and definitely needs our support and prayers to bring about needed changes in the industry vocational training ecosystem. He is ever willing to listen but sometimes his body language reveals a patriotic under pressure in the system.
On this day, that vehicle, the training wheel of the industry’s vocational hospitality education expectations, was unveiled to bear fruits and not to dress up the Nihotour’s motor garage.
Last year, Nura Kangiwa caused to happen a futuristic template of our gastronomy diversity and even on our health tourism and hospitality deliverables, which have gulped us millions of dollars in foreign exchange.
That convergence of our food ecosystem and its glaring values in all ramifications fueled Nura’S desire to break out from the physical sedentary classroom teaching agelong metrics of Nihotour and take the school and vocational hospitality education to the doors steps of the people through a mobile kitchen ecosystem.
That’s the novel content of this initiative, an effort akin to the dynamics brought about digital technology in education, which provides opportunities to many people who hitherto could not afford heavy fees in pursuing their dream ambition within structured environment.
Now, talking about the structured environment of our vocational training expectations which are captured through the politically structured six zones national vision, it is imperative to boldly confront certain limitations to that unitary ecosystem, meaning that in a country of over 200 million people, with young persons bracketed in a 70 / 30 demographic ratio, the need to take to wheels to mobilize these young persons in the nooks and crannies of Nigeria to become new culinary millionaire entrepreneurs must happen.
If you are not with me yet in this desirable and timely intervention by nurs Kangiwa, you could have been possibly bewitched by the poor runs of Nigeria Tourism Development Authority, ( ntda) which has refused to take a leap out its self inflicted operational inertia but would rather choose to wallow in nollywood fantasy scripted movies.
Let us not spoil our epistemology of interpretation of the Nihotour’s mobile kitchen experience, which Nura has promised as part of the ” many good things to come” from nihotour described by soft spoken Minister of Tourism, Mrs Lola Ade John as inspirational!
Yes that mobile training kitchen is indeed inspirational. I believe that the child of a poor farmer or herdsman can take to effective realisation of her destiny by opportunity offered through this affordable training in vocational hospitality education and thus helping to bridge knowledge gap in the service delivery output in rural based hospitality and leisure centres.
To imagine the revolution, and i mean what this innovation in vocational and tourism studies could engender on our rural communities where 90 percent of natural culture tourism endowments are located, must effectively rank this nura’ s community to community hospitality training opportunity and evangelism as the icing on the cake.
It is here that the Minister must be seen to give full support to the NIHOTOUR Gastronomic school without walls or better still, a school on the wheels. We budget appropriately to saturate this game changing initiative across the country under nihotour operational mandate.
On the softer side, I just hope the rampaging hungry kidnappers will not hijack these buses ladden with food,as they are deployed to touch the nooks and crannies of our country, bearing well cooked jollof rice and pounded yam.
Absence of Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria ( FTAN)
Apart from the very shameful late appearance of the DG of ntda, folarin Coker, which again is indicative of his poor understanding protocol ecosystem as the Honourable Minister was already seated ( some people alleged that he was deliberate), the absence of the leadership of the ftan was unmistakable and worrisome.
Protocol captured the apex private sector industry body as a strategic partner to give vent to the NIHOTOUR initiative and to which the minister graciously acknowledged the president, Mr Nkereweum Onung ( as a leader) of the industry, that absence of ftan however, was not well taken.
Why,? there is no way NIHOTOUR or NTDA can flourish on peoples expectations and reach out without driving such desires and people oriented programs without ftan as strategic partners.
I don’t know about Folarin Coker who, as always, falsely boasted that he fought on the part of industry to re birth the Ministry of Tourism, I know and am aware that Nura Kangiwa is a die in the wool influencer in FTAN.
Nkereweum Onung is a fine gentleman but from all indications, very protective of the integrity of the sector, willing always to sacrifice personal gains and comfort for the good of the sector. Our agency heads across board must understand his calling and responsibilities and offer hands of encouragement and help.
Though FTAN is not fully structured as an industry labour activism organisation, it does not also mean it could not discomfort certain operational disruptive relationship between the private sector and the tourism implementation agencies as a critical non governmental organisation ( NGO).
Thank God Lola Ade John is open to drive the relationship with ftan to fruition, however all serious attempts must be made to carry ftan and the industry along in the quest to have a tourism sector which we must be proud of, with key people oriented developments efforts such as Nihotour’s mobile training kitchen in view.
And to add, I should think that the collaborative approach to Nihotour under Nura Kangiwa has enthroned certain accountable deliverable tourism projects can be enlarged to accommodate even the opposition to new ideas and efforts as such processes the growth of tourism development.
In truth and reality, no man , idea or project stands alone. We need our food, fashion, dances, music , festivals, green biosphere and culture to sell our tourism to world.
Those struggling to structure individualism of tourism fueled by fear of losing their independent and selfish opportunity to empty the till, are not with us in tourism. In this sector, the arts, culture, creatives, Gastronomy, even technology, aviation and blue water and brown water economy, forms the integral soul of tourism sector promotion and marketing.
Until we see again, let Nura Kangiwa lead the way in tourism education promotionand marketing. To ntda, next time, maybe we talk about the merger of NTDA with NIHOTOUR1. Na person we dey work suppose lead way, no be the person wey no wan grow up! Tufia.