My Vision Is To Deepen Academic Culture In HMT Dept - Yekinni

Newly-appointed Acting Head of the Department of Hospitality Management and Tourism (HMT) in the Faculty of Management Sciences, Dr Bello Yekinni, has promised to transform the Department into a Centre of Excellence in hospitality and tourism studies and practice. Speaking during an interview with a UniPort News Correspondent in his office on Thursday, June 6, 2019, Dr Yekinni stated that his main focus is to deepen research and academic culture in the Department in line with the broader vision of the University.

“My main goal is to build Nigeria's foremost hospitality and tourism research Department in the South-South by producing highly innovative and entrepreneurship-driven graduates who can compete globally. To achieve this ambitious vision, we shall reposition our Department to produce qualified personnel that would oversee the hospitality management and tourism industry in Nigeria,” he pledged.

Dr Yekinni further revealed that the Department has concluded plans with the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) to convert the company's moribund tourism gallery to an e-tourism gallery to boost tourism in Rivers State. He also said that the Tourism Village in the Department would be developed into a mini zoo that would attract tourists to the University. He also disclosed plans to train the right personnel that would man the kitchen and restaurant, adding that the Department under his watch is working very hard to restructure the curriculum to include Industrial Training aimed at boosting students' hands-on skills.

He further disclosed that the Department is currently working on Volume III of its journal, stating also that plans are afoot for the training of staff on Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) aimed at enhancing quality supervision of graduate students.

Dr Yekinni told our Correspondent that the German Embassy has promised to donate a tourism van to the Department, while the Dutch Embassy has also agreed to donate 30 desktop computers with internet access to facilitate research in the Department. “We recently reached an understanding with Arik Airline for onboard training of our students, while Lagos-based Next Bakery has agreed to build a Bakery for the Department,” he further revealed.

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