[By VICTOR NZE]
Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has formally inaugurated its South-West Executive Committee to coordinate affairs of the zone.
The inauguration which was conducted virtually by the President of FTAN, Mr Nkereuwmem Onung, is aimed at giving the Nigeria tourism and its allied sector a headstart in practical engagements between public and private sector players in the region, according to FTAN.
The new South West Council of FTAN will be chaired by Kolade Julius Tunde, who also doubles as FTAN’s National Vice President, while Yinka Folami-Vice President; Sam Adeleke- Secretary; Adeniyi Ologunamuyi- Treasurer; with to Hon. Saheed Babatunde Lawal to serves as Membership officer.
The South West Council also has six State Coordinators for all the states in the geo-political zones, namely; Mrs Ime Udo (Lagos), Wale Olapade (Oyo), Dr Abioye Adedibe (Ekiti), Ibraheem Kukoyi (Ogun), Olutokunbo Dagunduro (Osun) and Funmi Rotiba (Ondo).
Speaking during the ceremony, President of FTAN, Onung, noted that the inauguration was timely ‘to practically activate the new agenda of the new FTAN executive at reinventing the promotional architecture of tourism in Nigeria and to give boost to the domestic tourism engagement of states.’
Onung stated that Committee will help to realize a sustainable goal for the public and private sector engagements.
Onung further expressed optimism that the South West Council ‘is a sure platform that will bring the agenda of the federation close to the government in the state and local levels by way of opening each state’s hidden and untapped tourism potential for not only domestic patronage but to also lure the international market.’
He, therefore, congratulated the newly-inaugurated members of the council for ‘answering the national call in putting their best towards efforts aimed at making tourism a mainstay for the Nigerian economy.’
On the forthcoming World Tourism Day celebrations in Nigeria billed for September 27, the FTAN president said he has yet to be briefed on the roles his group is expected to play at the event slated for Kebbi State.
“We are aware that Kebbi State is hosting the event, but we are yet to know the role we (FTAN) are to play,” he said.
Reacting to the recently announced hosting right awarded to Nigeria to host the 2022 United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Regional CAF conference, Onung expressed optimism at the development, noting that for Nigeria the event represents ‘another opportunity to get it right and also do everything within our reach to not only create a tourism content out of the event, but also to explore it for the benefit of the stakeholders.’
On his part, Chairman of the Board of Trustees (BoT) of FTAN, Chief Sam Alabi, while congratulating the newly-inaugurated South West excos, described the occasion as ‘a new dawn,’ even as further urged the members to effectively carry out the federation’s obligation assigned to them in order to bring out the best in each state and to change the narrative for the benefit of all.