Last Week, we intervened in the ongoing agenda to rewrite the history of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) and hell was let loose. However, I was encouraged by the very positive response of some of my colleagues and friends in the media who praised the initiative and also from progressive industry players who confessed that they had forgotten some of the top players at FTAN’s take-off and craved more exposure. Agreed that vision is for an appointed time, I would not stand aloof and allow ‘one-chance’ operators to claim glory over an association where they don’t deserve to be listed as patriots.
That apart, there is so much on the plate of reporting the industry and, as a dedicated columnist, I have chosen to break industry news updates in pieces so as help us keep issues in view even though some of the emerging news posts would be discussed in detail later. Today, just take your pick and let us discuss in weeks to come.
•NANTA pulls out of FTAN
One of Nigeria’s image-bearers on how best to run and organise trade associations, the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has sent signals to the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) that it can no longer tolerate FTAN’s poor administration and so would pull out.
NANTA president, Mr. Bernard Bankole, is so irked by the lack of respect accorded to NANTA by the Rabo Saleh-led FTAN, which is alleged to be spoon-fed by the trustees of the federation that claim to hold collective representation to other industry sectorial bodies.
Incidentally, Saleh is a member of NANTA and was nominated and supported by the association to become the federation’s president. Saleh, however, as a rebellious son, was alleged to be in the forefront of conspiraciestors who want to tear NANTA, his parent association, apart. These blacklegs are envious of the reach and growing influence of NANTA under Bankole and have sworn to recruit busy-bodies in the sector to confront NANTA.
The NANTA president might call a world press conference next week to announce the pullout from FTAN and the many sins of FTAN under Saleh. If NANTA leaves, NATOP and other associations may follow suit and FTAN would be back to its pale old self again.
•Runsewe set to add colour to NANTA AGM
The 42nd AGM of NANTA slated for the Garden City, Port Harcourt, promises to create new records in event and conference promotion in Nigeria as the National Council of Arts and Culture (NCAC), under the wave-making management of Otunba Segun Runsewe, has promised that no stone would left unturned to let Nigerians and world know that NANTA is a veritable vehicle for the promotion of Nigerian arts and culture.
NCAC’s signature at the upcoming NANTA AGM include a special launch of school uniforms made from local fabrics,, cultural presentations by NCAC cultural troupe, NANTA-branded conference bags by NCAC’s creative department and a Nigerian stand branded by NCAC to showcase unique arts, crafts and antiquities from our diverse peoples.
Runsewe, who received the NANTA president, Bernard Bankole, and his entourage comprising of Susan Akporarie, AGM 2018 chairperson and deputy president NANTA, Zack Abdullahi, national treasurer, and Sylvester Olobor, executive secretary, told his visitors to brace up for NCAC’s presence, with all necessary support that will encourage NANTA to break more grounds.
•Lai Mohammed sneaks out of Nigeria to sign event MOU in Madrid
Last week, Nigeria’s tourism minister Alhaji Lai Mohammed left Nigeria for Spain to visit the bigwigs of United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), last year. Nigeria bidded and won a mere ceremonial UNWTO event, which would not help Nigeria advance its tourism dream or be regarded, ranked and accepted as a veritable global tourism destination. Another jamboree? Let us wait and hear the “Messiah” come back to give us tales by the moonlight from Spain.
•The ‘Tourist’ in search of members?
Proliferation of industry groups and associations are on the rise and only God knows for what reasons. One of such colourless and unknown group goes by the name “Tourist” and seeks consultants as members. The last time, one checked the FTAN listing, there were over 30 moribund associations pretending to represent every shade of tourism activity in Nigeria. Even akara and boli (roasted plantain) hawkers also have their own association.
The Tourist or their likes are the faces of unbridled ambition and ill-advised resort to enthrone self-righteousness by some operators and their sponsors who cannot wait for a vision to arrive at an appointed time.
•Runsewe, pride of our legislators, nay, the government
When a good man, an effective leader, comes to town, the people would rejoice and that has become the signature of Runsewe from NOA, NTDC and now NCAC. I was at the National Assembly last week to see a friend who works with one of the principal officers and he took time to gist me how Runsewe, during the ongoing budget defence, was asked to take a bow and leave. Before he was granted that rare privilege reserved for notable former members of the Assembly, the joint committee of the House on Culture are Tourism had taken time to praise the various positive interventions by NCAC under Runsewe and wondered why other agencies in the ministry of culture and tourism failed to live up to expectations. To show their displeasure at the poor show of the ministry and other failed directors-general, my friend said the committee took time to pummel the failed DG’s who often sweat through budget presentations. What my friend did not tell me was the bragging posture of one of the DG’s who claimed his father owned APC and, therefore, was appointed to collect his own share of the national cake. What a legacy!
•They died on adventure to discover Nigeria
That Nigeria has become a cemetery of bright minds, particularly those interested to know more about our people and cultures, is not in doubt. About 21 students and three of their teachers from Bauchi State paid the supreme price for daring to visit Kano on excursion.
Today, schools and universities in Nigeria find it difficult to approve excursions due to the unbelievable security challenges confronting this nation and the very harsh environment that discourages tourism in our land. My heart goes to the parents of these young students and the families of their teachers, who should not have died if our country were in good hands.