Akran of Badagry Lauds Sally Mbanefo’s Domestic Tourism Promotion Initiative
THE Akran of Badagry, De Wheno, Aholu Menu-Toyi I, has described the domestic tourism promotion agenda of the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Mbanefo, as an incontestable way to promote Nigeria’s tourism and boost the nation’s economy.
The monarch, who said this during a courtesy visit by the NTDC boss to his palace explained that: “Sally Mbanefo is hitting the nail on the head with the promotion of domestic tourism. This was what the government of Japan did some years ago with a law stopping Japanese from traveling out of the country for holidays. It paid off. It did not only endear Japanese to their country and the tourist attractions therein, but it also wooed foreigners to the country and developed their economy.
“Domestic tourism remains the best approach to promote Nigeria’s tourism and better the lots of Nigeria and Nigerians. Hence, the NTDC boss should be well-mobilised and supported by every stakeholder in the industry to achieve her domestic tourism promotion course, which in turn will boost our economy, enthrone peace and unity, drastically reduce social vices and woo hosts of foreign tourists to our country.”
De Wheno, who described the NTDC boss’ visit to his palace as momentous, as the visit coincided with his 37th coronation anniversary noted that Sally Mbanefo was the first Director-General of the NTDC to personally come to Badagry to appreciate the tourist sites in the town with a view to championing their development and promotion.
Mbanefo, who earlier congratulated the Akran of Badagry on his 37th peaceful and developmental reign and prayed for more fulfilling years for the monarch, disclosed that domestic tourism will enable Nigerians know Nigeria, appreciate the innumerable and enviable tourist attractions in the country, appreciate different fascinating cultures and traditions in the country, and also attract foreigners to the country. This, according to the NTDC boss, will have a positive reflection on the economy of the nation.
She described her visit to Badagry as part of her ongoing visit to the geo-political zones in the country to visit the tourists sites in the states of the federation, see to how to develop and promote them to encourage Nigerians to travel within Nigerian and foreigners to travel to Nigeria. This, according to her will have immensely benefit the nation and her good people.
Mbanefo described Badagry as the first tourist site in Lagos, adding that, “there is no way the history of Nigeria will be written without prominently mentioning Badagry, where Christianity was first preached in 1842 by Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman, where the first Christmas was held in Nigeria, where the first church, the first primary school and the first story building in Nigeria, just to mention a few, were located.
The Akran of Badagry while presenting a gift of coconut to the NTDC boss, prayed that God should give her Solomon-like wisdom to achieve her lofty dream for Nigeria tourism, which will make Nigeria, which is enviably rich in tourism, stand tall in the comity of nations and enrich her people.
“Sally, you are a symbol of Nigeria tourism. It is no doubt, with your strides since you assumed office, that you meant business with the promotion of domestic tourism. Therefore, I pray that God will endow you with the wisdom to practically develop and promote domestic tourism in Nigeria,” the monarch prayed and the people of the town endorsed it with their resounding Amen.
The monarch thereafter presented the NTDC boss with the Badagry Pilgrimage Certificate, which according to the monarch, is not given to every Tom, Dick and Harry, but patriot, who meant good for the nation and the town.