Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Mr. President, NTDC is not working

Mr. President, NTDC is not working
September 04
16:25 2017

Dear Mr. President, there is no doubt Nigerians from all walks of life love to see you transform the country. While you are away to take good care of yourself in order to be properly fit to take us to the promised land, some of us in this critical but neglected of area our economic reality prayed hard that you return home safe and sound.

Before you left the shores of our land, you gifted us with fresh thinking and enablers in two major platforms on culture and tourism to redirect and reposition your government’s true trust to create new culture and tourism economy not just merely to diversify our dependence on oil proceeds but to build fresh tourism institutional power base.

We clapped and hailed this well thought political intervention having initially wondered for over a year if culture and tourism will ever enjoy attention from your government which at onset pulled down the stand alone Ministry of Tourism. Though detailed reasons were not given for the restructuring of the Ministry of Tourism into Information, Culture and National Orientation, some of us forgot two soon that it was same PDP government that gave us a stand alone Tourism ministry that also “killed” the ministry.

At the roundtable you held with top civil service operators and handlers of most critical segments of the economy, it was public knowledge that those who represented the tourism and culture economy could not pull their weight. In order words, they failed to convince you why tourism should continue to enjoy government funding and technical support despite its 16 years breather as developmental parameter.

Mr. President, my honest intention today is not evaluate your technical restructuring of government tourism action platforms but to report that Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) is not living up to expectation. In the past few months the direction to which those you appointed to steer this institution out of gaping Lacuna which a PDP appointee hauled it into, has deliberately embarked on mere impressionistic talk shows instead of building power blocks of interventions that will generate enduring tourism results and sustainable tourism economic realignments.

So far, NTDC original concept as an institution of government to numerically create tourism employment and alleviate poverty, promote cultural heritage, ensure effective implementation of multilateral and bilateral cooperation among other sister institutional ministries, departments and agencies with tourism contents and even friendly countries are now submerged in superfluous and confusing crackdowns that threatens the little gains of the industry.

As I write sir, there is no peace in NTDC with workers and management poles apart and at logger head. Indeed, it is a cause for worry that the new management has generated more petitions from its workers to the presidency in less than six months, more than its failed predecessor led by a PDP appointee which made the industry the laughing stock in the community of tourism nations.

Apart from the workers, all the private sector tourism enablers and associations had beat a fast retreat away from NTDC Corporate headquarters as their views and suggestions are seen not good enough to challenge the leadership of NTDC to toe the part of collaboration and implementation of enduring  tourism legacies.

A critical case in point, Mr. President was the recent proposed amendment of NTDC act at the national assembly to which the management deliberately ignored the contributions and observations made by the private sector tourism players on noticeable inadequacies in crafting of the bill but endeavoured to hire a cheering crowd to speak for its obsolete tourism positions and impressionistic tendencies.

Dear President, the management of NTDC has also gone too far to instigate and create a very difficult environment for the tourism media to objectively report Nigeria tourism goldmines and the expected employment gains. Unlike the traditional media which will not brook any despotic presence on their space, the tourism media in Nigeria represented by Association of Tourism writers and Editors of Tourism (ANJET) chose to reason with the NTDC management that tourism as a fragile sector, developmental in operational mandate, abhors administrative pettiness prone to crisis that can hinder the flow domestic and international tourism.

Sadly, NTDC today is not in partnership with the organized tourism press but has chosen to be confrontational, unresponsive to second opinion and bulls its way to ignominy and shame. Nigeria do not deserve this rascality in a democratic dispensation where we want to build strategic institutions that can bail us out and direct touch lights into our collective induced economic darkness.

Recently Mr. President, a Nigerian and a reader of my column sent an encouraging response through telephone number 08065304708 to appreciate my contributions on tourism in Nigeria and pleaded for a national movement on tourism for Nigeria’s economic rebirth, restoration and healing of our wounds.

I was touched because somebody somewhere in NTDC has refused to tailor the mandate of that institution to build tourism verifiable structures and action plans to bring Nigerian youths to understand the value chains in our cultural diversities, restore love for everything good about Nigeria, heal the wounds of poverty visited on us through political and economic greed by few privileged Nigerians and rebirth collaborative platforms that will grow aggressive and visible tourism entrepreneurship among the young and not too old to better their future and that of the nation.

Mr. President, we just had Sallah celebration in the country, where is the promotional and marketing content platform from NTDC? There was a Diaspora festival recently in Badagry, lagos, did NTDC collaborate with Lagos state government to advance our tourism gains? The Ojude Oba in Ijebu land with a hundred years mileage and still very important vehicle of promoting domestic tourism in Nigeria, did NTDC play any part? Eke Ukwu market, a historical and cultural trade post of the Owerri nation of Nigeria was reduced to the rubble, did NTDC make any intervention to preserve such iconic cultural location?

The Ife Olojo festival is on the way, will NTDC at least fund its promotion and marketing? Kano Durbar, Argungun fishing festival, Mmanwu festival, Borgu Gani Durbar festival, Berom festival of the plateau, when and how will NTDC collaborate with the tourism press and other sister institutions of government to create an enduring promotional and marketing template with the private sector-buy-in strategy?

Mr. President, as much as we don’t desire the sack of NTDC management, we however pray that you find time to minister your heartfelt desire to rebirth the economy through tourism to the management of NTDC. So far, Mr. President, NTDC is not working.


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1 Comment

  1. Lanrykay
    Lanrykay September 06, 18:11

    I agree with this submission. It is rather appauling that NTDC is seeking commercial relevance rather than collaborative effort at garnering all Tourism & Hospitality potentials in Nigeria for proper projections and plannings for Touristic visits. They seem to be more levies oriented than to coordinate & organise. Need for Professionals in that organisation if Tourism must grow. Non Tourism or Hospitality appointees cannot comprehend what the mandate for Tourism development means. Mr. President, you are welcome back

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