Last week, we carefully looked into certain issues that may take place in 2020 in our industry. We predicted that tourism in Lagos will witness some changes and that certain appointees of government, will be dropped to achieve a new tourism dream for Lagos. We are careful not to rejoice over what befell those who were dropped but certainly we must commend the Lagos state governor for the bold step taken in sending signals that it will not be business as usual in the way tourism is managed and operated. The governor simply told whosoever cared to listen, that there will be no room for lazy bones and those who parade certificates without any achievement to retrace their steps or get shipped out. So, what becomes of proper funding for tourism in Lagos, the expected inauguration of the state tourism board and all other sundry drivers of tourism in Lagos?, I want to believe that Governor Sanwo-olu cannot pretend that all it needs to drive tourism in Lagos is the mere change of persons or portfolio statement that are meant to hang up in the air. Enough of Lagos for today.
Tourism agencies and their Forlorn state
Nostradamus didn’t see any bright sky in tourism as far as 2020 is concerned for most tourism agencies. NTDC is covered with darkness and the power of necromancy and divination has blown its reputation to a state of dispute. The drivers in NTDC are weary, lack passion and frequently pray to be changed. To say that NTDC lack initiative is to call pharaoh to question. While the federal government and Nigerians at large will want to cross the red sea to the promise land of tourism, the pharaoh at NTDC certainly is afraid to make a statement, more concerned with deception and intimidation of forces both known and unknown. Nostradamus sees a change very soon to unshackle and unburden the agency to give it a new lease life.
I pity the workers of NTDC, entangled in this circle of darkness, with many praying to God for intervention, while few are enjoying the sin of the hour. There are no doubt that man will have his way but God is the ultimate decider of our future. NTDC is certainly a bad market. A surprise development that will shake the place is coming soon.
National Institute for Tourism Studies (NIHOTOUR)
This tourism training arm of government will in the next few weeks receive attention from government. It has operated in the last two years without a substantive chief executive. The ministry and concerned stakeholders have made their position known to government that this agency can’t remain without a leader appointed to give it direction. Nostradamus must commend the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, for the support he has given to an “Esther” to be an appointed to head the agency. Nostradamus sees revival, restoration, and effective campaign by the agency to rebound in 2020.
However, there is a dark head of serpent that has sworn that changes will not come to this agency but I see the total defeat of this demon in 2020.
National museum and monument
Recently, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, threw his weight behind the repatriation of our stolen artifact and heritage resources by foreign governments and individuals. The minister was miffed that while our heritage resources has become the face of tourism attractions in foreign museums, generating millions of dollars for their museum tourism businesses, Nigeria government and her people gropes in darkness of poverty and has nothing to show for it.
The argument has always been that we lack authentic records or audit report of our heritage resources outside the shores of this country and also within. Further to the argument of the insidious foreign exploiters of our pristine heritage resources and artifacts, is that Nigeria lack a proper protection and preservation architecture for our many heritage endowments.
The truth to this argument, is that our museums located in the six geopolitical zones are in shambles, bereft of any meaningful and historical heritage resources. As the white men plundered us in the 15th and 18th century, our national museums, have been plundered unto shame and there are nothing left to our generation yet unborn.
Nostradamus still believes that it will take a long time for Nigeria to rebound in this area of National museum tourism promotion. The man power in the system are discouraged, due to lack of poor welfare and direction. Surprisingly too and very sad, the museum has become a conduit pipe for the misapplication of funds, and lacked the presence of a chief executive officer in the last two years.
However, President Muhammad Buhari will appoint a new head in the three months’ time.
National Institute for Cultural Studies/National Theatre
These agencies under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, are only known to track government funds and has nothing to show for their existence. While NICO, specializes in organizing in moribund workshop and seminars with no direct bearing on the promotion of cultural heritage, the National Theatre on the other hand, has become cesspool of corruption and home to naked dance. Its recent takeover by the Bankers Committee is in furtherance of confusion that tracked its existence and mismanagement. Nostradamus does not see any help coming even with Bankers Committee. The prime location of the lands around the National Theatre, Iganmu remains the only veritable resource to which the Theatre is still been mentioned and known as a driver of cultural entertainment in Nigeria. With no chief executive officer for now, President Muhammad Buhari may come up with a more holistic leadership framework to revive the activities of the National Theatre before the middle of the year.