By Chinenye Offor
The Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr Folorunsho Coker, says he will use his fresh mandate to accelerate the growth of domestic tourism.
Coker made the statement in Abuja on Sunday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on his reappointment last week as director-general of the NTDC by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said that his immediate desire was to hasten tourism growth and foster socio-economic development of Nigeria, using the tourism value-chain.
Coker described his reappointment as another opportunity to collaborate with critical stakeholders in the tourism sector to deepen growth, using domestic tourism as catalyst.
Coker, 55, was first appointed to the position in March 2017.
He said that domestic tourism needed to be used to accelerate the growth of Nigeria’s creative sector to galvanise economic growth across other sectors, including agriculture and manufacturing.
“My agenda is to drive the mission and vision of the NTDC as laid out by the Federal Government,’’ he stated.
“We will promote domestic tourism and ensure sustainable practices that will boost the socio-economic wellbeing of our citizenry as seen in other parts of the world.’’
The director-general also pledged to continue with the existing template on domestic tourism promotion, deepening digital capacity and ensuring training of tourism practitioners.
He said that he would collaborate with the National Assembly to get lawmakers to enact laws to facilitate tourism growth.
Coker said that he was also looking forward to introducing better welfare packages for employees of the NTDC and ensuring that government provided necessary infrastructure for the tourism industry.
He noted that new laws were needed in the tourism sector to open up the sector and make Nigerians to harness opportunities in the sector.
“Laws are needed to reflect contemporary realities in the tourism sector and to promote the best of Nigeria, leveraging on technologies to deepen creativity and entrepreneurship.
“We will continue our collaborations with our digital partners to shine light on Nigeria’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, spectacular nature, bustling cities and our welcoming spirit.
“We have a digital framework in the promotion of tourism, information and sharing of the nation’s culture, partnering with Google Arts and Culture, Facebook and Wikipedia, among others for global reach.’’
Coker reiterated the commitment of the corporation to sustaining collaborations with the private sector, state governments and international agencies to achieve set goals of the NTDC. (NAN)
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