The Federal Government has announced that it paid no fewer than 2,186 firms employing 12,117 individuals under the payroll support as part of efforts to cushion the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made this announcement in Makurdi, Benue State on Monday at the formal take-off of the North Central Zonal Headquarters of the Nigerian Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).
He noted that the Federal Government has been doing a lot to alleviate the impact of the pandemic, especially as it affects the Creative and Tourism Sector, through its N75 billion Survival Fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises.
The minister lauded the impact of the hospitalism industry, saying tourism has now become a major catalyst for economic growth and social well-being of the citizenry in most countries around the world, especially the developing countries.
Mohammed disclosed that the country’s hospitality industry contributed about 4.8% to the country’s total national output (GDP) and utilised about 1.6% Nigerians in the year 2016.
He also canvassed for training and retraining for players in the industry to maximise the potentials in the sector.
The minister said: “Now, one of the prerequisites for tourism to develop and play its desired role in the socio-economic life of a nation is availability of well-trained personnel. This forms the basis for the Federal Government’s decision to have a specialised training institution for the hospitality and tourism industry in Nigeria, which culminated in the establishment of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR).