NTDC OPENS INFORMATION DESK IN KANO AIRPORT
The Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Uwechue Mbanefo has said that tourism is the greatest employer of labour, which contributes about 9.3 percent to the global GDP with The Gambia contributing 17.7 percent, Egypt 13 percent, South Africa 9 percent, Mexico 11.9 percent, Kenya 12 percent, Brazil 7.8 percent, Cuba six percent and Nigeria four percent, She further stressed that tourism development remains just as relevant and important in economy building of any nation in the world. This was attested to during her official tourism visit to open NTDC tourism information desk in Kano State recently.
In her speech, she explained that the NTDC’s information desk is part of the Corporation’s effort towards promoting domestic tourism. The Corporation’s collaboration with Viko Nigeria Group of Companies Limited had earlier commissioned three NTDC Airport Information Desks at Nnamidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, MM2 Terminal and the General Aviation Terminal of the airport at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos and now Kano Airport.
She noted that Kano State is one of the tourism friendly states and also a major tourism hub and gateway in Nigeria,
“This is why NTDC found it strategically important to establish the Tourism information desk and travel portal at the Aminu Kano International Airport. The centre would facilitate travel businesses and promote hospitality and tourism services in Kano and Nigeria at large”, she said.
However, the Director General, Mrs Mbanefo in the company of the Commissioner for Commerce, Co-operative and Tourism, Alhaji Rabiu Ahmed including some top government dignitaries in the state embarked on tourism tour within Kano metropolis to visit and identify major tourist attractions. Places visited include the Emir of Kano’s Palace, Kofar Mata Dye Pits (established since 1498), Gidan Makama Museum, Kemata Game Reserve linked with Yankari and South Africa, Porto Golf Resort and ‘Kwakwasiya” overhead flyover.
On a major visit to the governor of the state, the NTDC boss was impressed by the highly Governor who displayed of a clear understanding of the value of tourism for Nigeria.
“It is clear that the new governor is focusing a lot of attention on tourism and security in the state and Kano is indeed very safe for tourists”, she assured.
At another visit to the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II commended the laudable efforts of the NTDC boss in repositioning the corporation and the milestones achieved within a short time so far and for visiting and marketing Kano State as a major tourism hub.
“I know the Director General, Mrs Sally Mbanefo as an erudite and principled banker, colleague for almost 30 years, no doubt, the candour with which she DG carries herself with passion to bring out the glory of tourism in Nigeria is amazing and has endeared her to many who have come across her way. She is really working, we acknowledge your sound mind, clear understanding of the tourism sector and your passion for promoting domestic tourism even in the face of challenges”, he said.
In the same vein, addressing the top government officials and the press men earlier, the Group Managing Director, Viko Group of Companies Limited, Mr Lucky Kanu said “This project will create employment for thousands of our people and will also add to our effort to rapidly reduce joblessness through the SMEs project”.
He further pledged to support the efforts of the corporation through the Public Private Partnership for best practices to create jobs for the youth and ensure that the tourism information portal is established in major airports located in the country.
Mbanefo commended Viko Limited for their patriotism and passion in selflessly promoting tourism by contributing to creation of jobs for youth.
“Viko’s zeal for development is highly commendable, this is a true demonstration of a successful practice of public private partnership in Nigeria”, she said.
She further explained that Viko and NTDC are working on a new project that will create over 500,000 jobs for the youth in every state of Nigeria.
On this note, Mbanefo appealed to stakeholders, private sector operators and the general public to join forces with the corporation as tourism is a private sector activity which must be driven by the private sector and not just the government.
“This will turn our dependence on diminishing oil revenue to tourism which is sustainable, reduce rural to urban migration, revenue for poverty alleviation and job creation for the teeming youth in the country”, she said.