Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), says Nigeria is the most competitive gastronomy tourist destination in Africa in terms of diversification of ethnic groups and unique foods culture.
Kangiwa said this in Abuja on Saturday at the Third Edition of Gastronomy Festival with the theme titled “Culinary Arts – The Gateway to Growing Tourism Destination”
He added that the country had taken the lead in gastronomic tourist destination in Africa, saying that the institute would continue to complement the government’s efforts to sustain the tempo.
“Nigeria is the most competitive gastronomy tourist destination in Africa. This can be found in the diversity of our ethnic groups and corresponding unique foods culture
“The exhibition of today’s foods shows the abundance of Nigerian cuisines.
“Gastronomy is a cultural expression of nations through their food choices, sources of ingredients and types of cuisines, as it is typically thrives in culturally rich destinations like Nigeria.”
According to the director-general, Nigerian cuisines are reflective of the nation’s gastronomic beauty and diversity.
In her remarks, Dr Ngozi Owundiwe, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture(FMIC), said that gastronomy was the source of the nation’s identity due to its contribution to tourism development.
Owundiwe, who was represented by the Director, Domestic Tourism in the ministry, Mrs Patricia Narai, said “Nigerian cuisines identify us as a nation, as well as telling the good story of our people.
“It has rapidly become a major growing component in the contribution to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to all developing countries around the world.”
Also speaking, the Director-General, Nigerian Film Corporation (NFC), Dr Chidia Maduekwe, said Nigeria was rated as one of Africa’s best destination hubs for hospitality and tourism.
Maduekwe said that there were lots of hospitality and tourism sites and locations across the country that had yet to be harnessed.
He added that operational existing sites and locations had continued to provide leisure and development.
According to him, these have helped to promote green grass revolution and environmental protection and safety.
” These sites and locations have become the spots for the advertisement and consumption of special Nigerian cuisines and delicacies.
“These all add up to the promotion of domestic cultural integration and development.”
In his remarks, Senegal Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Nicolas Nyouky, commended NIHOTOUR for partnering with Senegal embassy on sharing of good cuisines.
™ Nigeria is in the spotlight in the field of gastronomy due to its cooking techniques,” he said.
Mr Li Xuda, Cultural Counsellor, Embassy of People’s Republic of China, commended NIHOTOUR for strengthening the partnership between Nigeria and China on showcasing of their cultural heritage.(NAN)