By Ekuson Nw’Ogbunka
Coker, DG NTDC
The Director – General (DG), Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr Folorunso Coker has said that poor funding of the Corporation is hindering the performance of the Corporation.
The DG said this while addressing journalists recently in his office in Abuja.
Proving his points, Coker said the 40% of the NTDC fund in 2019 was released to the Corporation by November and wondered how the Corporation would cope under that condition.
Calling on the private sector to come together and move tourism forward with the reason that the sector is usually driven by them, the DG however said within his stay in office, the Corporation started Tour Nigeria and Nigerian Flavour with the aims to move the sector forward. He however regretted that the Corporation as a marketing arm of the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture is poorly funded and couldn’t take up almost need to do for positive change to be effected in through the sector for the country.
Folorunso Coker said if well enhanced, the sector would go a long way to not only create employment, but also contribute immensely to the economy, even as he added that every aspect of the economy is linked to tourism. He therefore disclosed that he plans to extend Tour Nigeria to each geopolitical zone in the country.
He also threw light on the latest about the Bill the Corporation has sponsored at the National Assembly and the presidency. According to him, after assenting to the Bill by the Upper and Lower houses, when it got to the presidency, it directed that some amendments be made to avoid coming into conflict with other arms of the government before he would fully assent to it. The amendment, according to him has been made and taken to the presidency, just as he said he was optimistic that the Bill would scale through, which if done, he went on, would go a long way for the sector.
While informing that the NTDC will participate fully in this year’s Argungu Fishing Festival in Kebbi state, Folorunso Coker informed that all arrangements had been made with the state government toward giving the one of this year its deserved attention. The DG appealed to Nigerian journalists to be giving the country fair reportage, as well as hailing the country for the level it had attained at 60. He said he has observed that it would be difficult for Nigeria to compete favorably with countries that had independence about 200 years ago.