[By VICTOR NZE]
Newly-elected Executive Committee of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has hit the ground running barely two weeks after inauguration, as it is set to hold its inaugural meeting in Abuja, this Thursday, July 22.
FTAN is the umbrella body for private sector tourism operators in the country.
The new executive committee came on board at the association’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) and General Elections for 2021, which held, Thursday, July 8 at the at Rockview Hotel (Royale) in Wuse 2 in Abuja.
The AGM/Elections saw the emergence of then Acting President, Nkereuwem Onung, who was formerly the first deputy president until April this year, following the sudden and shocking death of the president, Alhaji Saleh Rabo, on April 16, this year.
A statement by the association, Tuesday, quoted the newly-elected President, Mr Nkereuwem Onung as disclosing that the planned meeting will be held virtually in accordance with Covid-19 management protocols, adding further that all the new Executive Committee members are expected to join via Zoom from their various zones.
“The essence of the meeting is to officially welcome the new Exco members and to brainstorm on the best ways to hit the ground running,” said Onung, as he expressed the hope that ‘deliberations will be fruitful, so that work can start in earnest.’
It would be recalled that Onung polled 71 votes to defeat his opponent at the election, the former Vice President South-West, Otunba Ayo Olumoko who garnered a total of 21 votes.
Other officials who emerged at the election included; First Deputy President, Alhaji Badaki Aliyu; Second Deputy President, Susan Akporiaye; Vice President, FCT, Alhaji Yunusa Mohammed; Vice President- (South – West), Kolade Tunde; Vice President – South – East, Odunayo Ogunyemi, Vice President – South – South, Mrs Justina Ovat, Vice President (North – East), His Royal Highness, Eze Patrick Anyanwu; Vice President (North – West), Ayodele Arokoyo; and Vice President (North – Central), John-Likita Best; Treasurer, Mrs Funmi Kazeem; Financial Secretary, Mrs Ime Udo.
Also elected were: Membership Secretary 1, Saheed Babatunde Lawal; Membership Secretary 2, Kayode Adeshola; Membership Secretary 3, Eugene Nwauzi; and Internal Auditor, Emmanuel Okon; Public Relations Officer (South), Wale Olapade; Public Relations Officer (North), Glory Okon.
In his acceptance speech, Onung expressed gratitude to God for the victory as well as the opportunity to serve Nigeria and the tourism stakeholders through the umbrella of FTAN.
He further assured that his administration will continue with all the projects of his predecessors especially Nigerian Tourism Investment Forum (NTIF) and Exhibition with more innovative additions and different approach for sustainability.
While stating that he will engage the industry stakeholders to take the federation to more enviable level of repute, Onung who promised ‘to serve with humility, focus and great vision,’ said ‘the future of FTAN is better than the history,’ as he called on to ‘join hands in making the next level a dream come true.’
In his remarks, Otunba Olumoko, who conceded the outcome of the election, congratulated Onung for his victory and promised to work with him and his team.