Like any general meeting, coupled with the fact that FTAN is the apex body of all the tourism associations in Nigeria with over 40 professional associations, Ekiti Hall, of Nanet Suites in Abuja was full to the rafters with delegates, new members and other stakeholders. Founded in 1997 at the instance of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, FTAN represents interest of all private sector Tourism associations of Nigeria.
The event saw Rabo Saleh Karim of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), as the president. Other executive members elected include Nkereuwem Onung as the firstÂ National Deputy President; Abiodun Odusanwo, second National Deputy President, Ayo Olumoko Vice President, South West; Nura Kangiwa, Vice President, North East; Ngozika Ngoka, Vice President South East; Badaki Aliyu, Vice President , FCT,Â Eugene Nwanzi, Vice President South South and John A. Adzer, Vice President, North Central
Also elected are, Ime Udo, Membership Secretary ; John-Likita M. Best; ; Emeka Anokwuru, Membership Secretary(3); Okorie Uguru, First Publicity Secretary and Joseph Karim, Publicity Secretary .
With the theme, â€œFinancing as a Catalyst for Sustainable Tourism Developmentâ€, the Director General of the Nigeria Touwwrism Development Corporation, NTDC, Folorunsho Coker, who representedÂ the Minister of Culture, Information, Lai Mohammed at the AGM, reiterated the need for one voice at FTAN
Coker said: â€œI met FTAN couple of years when I was in Lagos and I have always advised it needs to act with one voice that is very loud. With so many voices in the travel and tourism chain, the need to have one body representing it has never been more pertinent. There is a dire need to package our tourism products collectively as done in other tourism-forward countries. Strategically, tourism employs women and the youth and you know what they say, when a woman is happy, the home and country prospers more.â€
Â In his presentation, Ben Akabueze from the Ministry of Budget and Planning said tourism offered opportunity for job creation and it is capable of driving short-term growth and longer-term structural change. He noted that the tourism was recognised in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) as one of the ingredients needed to achieve economic growth.
â€œBy addressing under-developed infrastructure, security challenges, lack of attractive options for vacationing at home, and insufficient investment, the sector is expected to contribute to government revenues and foreign exchange earnings. The objectives of the policy are to enhance contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), increase numbers of visitors to Nigeria by 10 per cent annually from 2017 and increase volume of domestic tourism.â€
In his acceptance speech, Saleh appreciated members of the association for their support and promised to do everything humanly possible to move the association forward.
â€œWe plead with every one of us to lend your supporting hands even as you constructively criticise us; we wonâ€™t take it personal; believe me, we are here to serve you.
â€œThis is a tough job, but we can only make a success of it, if all FTAN families give their individual support and assistance.
â€œWe would operate a transparent and equal opportunity administrative system; we shall be open and accountable to you and every FTAN member,â€ Saleh said.
ATTWON becomes FTAN member
Association of Travel and Tourism Writers of Nigeria, ATTWON officially became a member of FTAN on 29th June, 2017. ATTWON, one of Nigeriaâ€™s foremost Travel and Tourism Writers body was formed in 2015 and registered as a body with CAC in 2016.
ATTWON has been championing Domestic Tourism as an alternative to mono-economy in Nigeria.