By Emeka Anokwuru
The newly-appointed Directors-General in the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture have been urged to see their appointments as a veritable opportunity to reposition the ailing culture and tourism sector of the country’s economy.
Making the appeal in separate congratulatory messages to Mr. Folorunsho Folarin-Coker of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and Otunba Olusegun Runsewe at the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), Wednesday, the umbrella body of travel and tourism writers, the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET), urged them to also consider their appointments as ‘a call to national service’ with a view to winning back stakeholders’ confidence in the industry.
According to ANJET, which commended the federal government for appointing professionals to man the affairs of the agencies, the need to restructure and reposition the culture and tourism industry as well as regain waning industry practitioners’ belief, had become imperative on account of the agencies having been repeatedly poorly managed.
“For us at the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET), we reiterate that your appointment could not have come at a better time than now, as we have consistently harped on the need for the federal government to appoint a professional to man the affairs of the corporation.
“We, therefore, use this medium to express our confidence in your ability to change the deplorable state of the NTDC and by extension, the Nigeria tourism against the backdrop of your enviable records achieved as former Commissioner for Tourism in Lagos State.
“We, however, charge you as a major stakeholder in the Nigerian tourism sector, not to see this achievement merely as a political appointment, but instead an opportunity to restructure Nigeria tourism with a view to recapturing investors’ confidence, as well as providing a viable playing field for indigenous players in the industry,” the writers charged Folarin-Coker.
ANJET, which is a tourism association under the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), similarly charged Runsewe, ‘‘to be circumspect, focused and committed to delivering on the mandate of your parastatal with the unalloyed personal sacrifices, commitment and passion for which you are known and had handled every national assignment entrusted to you in time past.’’