The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says the nation’s hospitality industry is beginning to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged the world.
The minister who said this at the commissioning of Marriot Hotel in Lagos, noted that the creative and hospitality industry were the worst hit by the pandemic.
Mohammed said the commissioning of the hotel, located in the heart of Lagos, was a beacon of hope that the Nigerian hospitality industry was re-emerging from the pandemic.
The minister recalled that the hospitality industry in Nigeria and Africa as a whole had grown rapidly in the last 30 years and witnessed dynamism over time.
He said the growth trajectory was, however, cut short by the pandemic.
According to the African hotel projects overview construction report, which was published in December 2019, the 282 hospitality projects across the continent amounted to more than 60,000 rooms.
Mohammed said: “Nigeria was not left out of this hospitality industry boom, placing third in the report behind Egypt (with 52 projects) and Morocco (with 32 projects).
“Inspite the pandemic, Marriott chose to make its investment here in Nigeria, which is further proof of how promising our country is for hospitality, tourism, entertainment and indeed for trade and business as a whole.”
Mohammed said Nigeria’s hospitality industry had witnessed major developments in recent times.
He recalled that the National Bureau of Statistics in 2017 said tourism accounted for 34 per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product and 20 per cent of the country’s employment creation.
Mohammed said the sustainability of growth in the industry was dependent on the capacity of human resources and talent.
He, therefore, charged stakeholders within the industry to place focus on building capacity and harnessing talents of the indigenous people.
The minister assured that the Federal Government would continue to formulate effective policies that would make the hospitality industry operate with world class standards and deliver the best of services.