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NTDC showcases Nigerian flavours to promote country’s heritage



Mr Folorunsho Coker, Director-General (DG) Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) says Nigerian Flavours is an avenue to showcase the country’s rich cultural heritage in its diversity.

Coker said this during an interview with News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday, in Abuja.

He said the event which would be taking place soon was aimed at showcasing the country’s rich and diverse culinary.

According to the DG, Nigerian flavours is a soft brand of “Tour Nigeria’’, the corporation’s master brand, which encourages Nigerians and people from other climes, to undertake a tour of the country and experience its rich flavours.

He urged tourists to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the programme to get a feel of Nigeria through its food, music, religion, culture and fashion, among others.

Coker said this year’s event is the second in a series conceived to drive domestic consumption of Nigeria’s tourism assets and products.

He also said that the event would create new opportunities for tourism to strive; as well as pave way for revenue generation for the country.

He disclosed that the event would witness a display of 50 food and beverages; including their vendors, across the six geo-political zones.

, at the Central Park, Abuja.


Take your pride of place in tourism development, Minister charges NTDC




The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed has challenged the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) to live up to  its statutory responsibilities in the nation’s tourism development.

The Minister gave the charge on Tuesday when he paid a working visit to the headquarters of the corporation in Abuja.

Nigeria News Agency reports the minister, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ms Grace Gekpe and his Special Advisers. Mr Segun Adeyemi and Mr Williams Adeleye, was received by the Director General of NTDC, Mr Folorunso Coker.

Briefing newsmen after a closed door meeting with the NTDC management, Mohammed said the corporation has significant role in the overall development of the country’s tourism and should therefore take the bull by the horn in the transformation of the sector.

He said the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari placed priority on tourism and regarded the sector as the nation’s “next oil” in the nearest future.

“We had serious talk with the DG, we discussed the challenges and proffer solutions to resolving impediments.

At NTDC, we are sitting on a keg of unexploited potentials and we have the capacity to harness them,” he said.

Mohammed said that Nigeria’s tourism potentials included music, films, fashion, gastronomy, religion, and others, saying the sector is the fastest growing among others.

He added that the tourism sector is the second largest employer of labour after agriculture contributing immensely to the country’s GDP.

Mohammed said NTDC, being the coordinating agency for the  promotion the nation’s tourism development, should wake up to its responsibilities.

The minister assured the corporation of maximum support of the ministry and the federal government.

Earlier,  Coker had welcomed the minister and his entourage to the corporation, noting that they were privileged because his organisation was the first point of call.

He said there is the need for a workable  framework to revolutionise the development of the tourism sector.

The director general said the corporation under his leadership has implemented programmes on human capital development and  corporate governance.

Edited By: Felix Ajide

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Tourism: Collaboration with states will increase potential — NTDC DG



Mr Folorunsho Coker, Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), has called on state governments to collaborate with Federal Government in the joint efforts to boost tourism in their localities.

says collaboration with the Lagos State Government in the area of tourism will go a long way to boost Nigeria’s tourism sector.

Coker made the call on Wednesday in Abuja while receiving Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture.

He said that the visit was necessitated by the need for states to collaborate with the Federal Government to effectively tap into tourism potential in their localities.

The Director General urged other states in the federation to emulate Lagos in its rapprochement towards the Federal Government for mutual benefits of both levels of government.

“When the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government come together on a project, success is guaranteed. It is like saying when both parties clap, the whole of Africa will hear.

“Tourism has huge revenue generating potential and it is good for government at all levels to come together and tap optimum benefits of these potential,’’ Coker said.

He urged other states in the federation to emulate Lagos State by mapping out collaborative strategies with the federal government to develop tourism and other sectors of the economy.

In her response, the Lagos Commissioner said that her ministry would take advantage of the unique opportunity provided by NTDC to reach out to major tourism stakeholders in Africa.

“This collaboration will provide us with the opportunity to further market Lagos as a must-visit destination in Africa and the world.

“Lagos State is prepared to collaborate with NTDC in areas that will give recognition to creative arts and tourism development.

“Lagos is a preferred destination for business, leisure and entertainment,’’ she said.

The Nigeria News Agency   reports that Akinbile-Yusuf was accompanied on the visit by Mr Babatubnde Olaide-Mesewaku, Permanent Secretary, Lagos Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, and other top officials of the ministry

Edited By: Dorcas Jonah/Wale Ojetimi





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More funds, intervention will boost tourism sector, says NTDC boss



The Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr Folorunsho Coker, has stressed the need for more funding and intervention to boost the tourism sector in the country.

that funding had a major impact on the performance of his agency considering its function to promote tourism.

According to him, injecting more funds into tourism sector will make it thrive more, increase influx of tourists, and generate more revenue for both the government and private investors.

He decried the poor budgetary allocation to the sector, which he said had affected its development and reduce job opportunities.

The NTDC boss emphasised the need for intervention fund in the nation’s tourism industry stressing that “tourism is the largest employer of labour”.

According to him, the cooperation has a role as a marketing arm of tourism sector and needed funding to market its products known to the public.

The NTDC boss who said that partnering with the private sector was important, however, noted that private sector funding was not forthcoming due to present economic reality.

Coker also noted that funding has a major impact on the performance of his agency considering its function to promote tourism.

He decried late release of funds to the corporation which he described as a factor hindering the performance of the corporation.

“There is a difference between money appropriated in the budget and actual releases.

“It is the actual releases that determines how much can be spent, we have to prioritise our spending based on what we have at hand,” he said.

Coker further said that enabling environment was key in tourism development and thereby advocated for a legal framework.

He, however, pledged commitment of the corporation to partner with stakeholders to move tourism to an enviable height.

Edited by: Dorcas Jonah/Isaac Aregbesola

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Tourism requires legal framework to thrive – NTDC Boss



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Ofala festival a tourism asset – NTDC boss



Ofala Festival a tourism asset – NTDC boss


By Chinenye Offor

The Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr Folorunsho Coker, says the Ofala Festival is an asset, which can be further developed into regional and global cultural event.

Coker said this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja.

“The just concluded 18th Ofala Festival of the traditional ruler of Onitsha remain a unifying factor that connects diverse cultures, which brings people together from all walks of life.

“The Ofala among other cultural festivals in Nigeria showcases the rich culture of our people through dance, colourful attire, traditional foods among others,” he said.

He added that the festival would boost local economy and encourage unity of the people whilst creating value on many micro platforms.

Coker emphasised the need for collaboration among tourism stakeholders such as airlines, hotels, tour operators and festival owners, to create a festival economy in tourism.

He also called on tourism stakeholders to come up with all-inclusive packages that both foreign and local tourists can easily consume, and also packages that were “bite-sized” and digitally driven for consumers.

The NTDC boss also encouraged the use of new media in telling the country’s stories globally, adding that digital revolution is available to drive tourism to generate the values needed.

“It is expedient for us to explore the new media, which has grown beyond print and the conventional electronic media.

“The new media/social media provide wider coverage and dissemination of information about our activities even to the global community, the impact is exponential,” he said.

The DG noted that tourism remained a central pillar of economic growth in many countries, adding that the country could also benefit from the sector in like manner.

He said the corporation was prepared to assist cultures, communities and festivals, to attain profitable tourism height.

“We at NTDC are always ready to collaborate with the private sector to strengthen events that will make people focus on the consumption of tourism assets in Nigeria.

“Hence, we are willing to promote other cultural festivals in Nigeria,” he pledged.

Coker, who referred to the recent Onitsha Ofala Festival as wonderful exploit of tourism showcase, expressed delight on the conscious efforts by the Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe , to preserve the cultural heritage.

Edited by Isaac Aregbesola/Ifeyinwa Omowole

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Legal framework gateway to harness tourism potential – NTDC boss



The Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) says the provision of a legal framework was a gateway in exploring and harnessing of tourism potential in the country

Mr Folorunsho Coker, the Director General of the corporation made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to him, a new legal framework will provide the avenue to harness the dividends in tourism industry, generate revenue and enable investors to tap from the abundant opportunities in the sector.

Coker described the proposed NTDC Bill as the needed legal framework upon which to grow the nation’s tourism potential.

He said that a legal framework would help people understand tourism as a business and investment, which would also make it attractive for funding.

Coker likened the NTDC’s legal framework to the required foundation laid in the communication, banking, oil and gas sectors that resulted in their huge revenue generations.

“If these measures are put in place, it would help strengthen Nigerian tourism industry and make it thrive.”

The NTDC boss further said that it was imperative for people to understand that tourism was a business that most wealthy countries depended for huge investments.

According to him, without a legal framework, it will be difficult to maximise and exploit the potential in tourism to fullest.

“Without a legal framework, we cannot in 2019 exploit our potential to the max.

“We are asking for a new legal framework that will be sensitive to our environment and that which will allow us perform like other countries that have enjoyed all the benefits of tourism.

“We need a legal framework and a platform to explore the good in tourism just as other countries explore globally. We have been trying but we need to do more; we need a structural shift to achieve our goal.

“We need to get people to understand that tourism business is what some wealthy countries depend on and until we invest in tourism, we will not reap the fruits.”

Coker stressed that tourism benefits would be harnessed if given proper attention it deserved and therefore advocated for prompt intervention.

He said the having a legal framework would prompt financial framework that would allow the agency to operate as a business entity capable of generating huge revenues for the economy.

“Currently, tourism is contributing marginally to the fortunes of this country.”

Coker, therefore, harped on the need to invest in the sector, which he likened to a goldmine for huge revenue generation and to improving the nation’s internal revenue generation.

He said that tourism investment would help in job creation, preservation of tourism historical assets and increase influx of tourists into the country. (NAN)


Edited by Grace Yussuf

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World Tourism Day: NTDC urges Nigerians to harness tourism potential for job creation




World Tourism Day: NTDC urges Nigerians to harness tourism potential for job creation

Mr Folorunsho Coker, Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), on Friday urged Nigerians to harness the nation’s tourism potential to create job opportunities.

Coker made the call during the Corporation’s commemoration of the World Tourism Day (WTD), held at NTDC office, Ojodu, Lagos.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that World Tourism Day is commemorated each year on 27 September, with celebrations led by United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

Its purpose is to foster awareness among the global community of tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value and the contribution the sector can make in reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

The theme for the year is : “Tourism and Jobs: a Better Future for All”.

Coker, who was represented by Mrs Annette Ibe, NTDC South West Zonal Coordinator, said that going by the theme of the year’s WTD, tourism was the largest employer of labour in the world.

According to him, this is due to its activities in the value chain, which included: hotel, restaurant, transportation, destination management, souvenir production, packaging of carnivals, festivals, cultural promotions and more.

He noted that with this huge potential, the Nigerian youths could latch upon those potential to create jobs and wealth for themselves.

According to him, in 2018, tourism employed 313,221,000 people globally and generated about $8.272 trillion.

” With lots of statistics from the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, it is glaring that tourism is the largest employer of labour.

” It is now for us to harness our resources to engender growth, to do this we need to redefine tourism and see it as a business, and pay necessary attention to it.

” Nigerian youths should also leverage on these opportunities to create wealth for themselves,” he said.

Coker called on tourism product sellers in Nigeria to come up with inclusive packages that both foreign and local tourists easily consume.

Earlier, Mr Micheal Lekan-Kehinde, Chief Executive Officer, Discoveria, a tourism firm, urged Nigerian youths to embrace businesses within the tourism value chain.

According to him, individuals do not have to wait to be employed, but could pick up one of the aspects of the tourism industry such as tour guide, travel agents, tour operator, destination management, festivals, cultural promotion and more.

He said youths could get trained in one of these aspects, to operate successfully in the industry.

” To operate as a tour guide, you will need to read about the culture of a group of people, their locality and all vital information about such people from time immemorial.

” It takes a creative mind and being focused to be successful in it,” he said.


Edited by Olabisi Akinbode/Wale Ojetimi

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World Tourism Day: Tourism an asset to nation’s economic growth – NTDC boss



Mr Folorunsho Coker, the Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has emphasised
the role of the tourism industry as major asset to the nation’s economy.

He made this known in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abuja to commemorate 2019 World Tourism Day
(WTD) with the theme “Tourism and Jobs: A Better Future for All.”

He said “tourism employs a large number of people in the world and a contributing factor to the economic growth of a nation.

“Tourism is a laudable and thriving business in the country.”

According to him, the WTD nominated by the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) will aid in the promotion of tourism potential, describing it as a blessing to the industry.

Coker also said that this year’s event was not just for celebration but an event to showcase the importance of what the year’s theme would bring to the industry.

He added that the purpose for the celebration was to create awareness on the role of tourism and to also demonstrate its effects on the social, cultural, political and economic values globally.

He explained that this year’s theme captured the focus of NTDC, saying that the event was another avenue to enlighten individuals, private organisations and government
about the importance of the industry.

He noted that in 2018, tourism globally employed 313,221,000 people and generated 8,272 trillion dollars.

Coker also emphasised the need for the society to harness the potential in the sector to engender growth, adding that tourism contributed 34 per cent to the nation’s GDP.

He also said that it was imperative to redefine tourism and see it as an investment and pay necessary attention to it to reap its dividends.

According to him, tourism exist in the society but stresses the need to realign the thinking of people to see tourism as a business and investment for it to thrive.

The NTDC boss, therefore, encouraged stakeholders to tap from the vast potential in the industry, as well as form cluster tourism assets around heritage sites to highlight its

Coker said “tourism has great potential in our country and if it gets 10 per cent of what the oil industry gets, it will grow more than what it is now.

“Most of our destinations are moribund and lack basic infrastructure that most destinations have, such as clean spaces and decent facilities like toilets, seats,
among others

“There is need to cluster tourism assets around nature to make it all-inclusive package which interestingly requires a token investment to bring it up to standard

“It is also needful for tourism product sellers in the country to collaborate and come up with a seamless package that foreign and local tourists can easily
consume just like during Makkah and Jerusalem pilgrimages.”

The director general stated that the society’s culture was evolving, adding that the new medium for cultural expression lied in music, fashion, arts and food that was
driven by festivals.

He noted that festivals were tools used in celebrating people’s culture and the unique arts produced helped tourism assets such as hotels,
restaurants, others.

He, therefore, encouraged the use of digital space, the new media such as Facebook, Instagram and others to showcase documented events to attract wide publicity .

He advised owners of tourism assets to create a brand identity so as to make tourism thrive and also to maximise potential.

The NTDC boss enjoined the private sector and other government agencies to partner the corporation to create events that would attract patronage
of tourism assets.

He urged tourists to visit Nigeria “to hear the heartbeat of Africa and experience what the feel is like.”


Edited By Adeboye Ajayi/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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NTDC boss charges state govts on tourism development



The Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has called on State Governments to develop tourism sites in their respective states to boost tourism.

Director General of the Corporation, Mr Folorunsho Coker told Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abuja that if tourism sites are developed, it would attract tourists and also generate revenue for the states.

Coker said that most of the tourism sites and festivals in the country have not gone through what it takes to make them commercially successful, hence the need for a brand identity.

He explained that tourism needed a process and a legal framework for its benefits to be realised similar to the banking, oil industry and telecommunications sectors.

According to him, there is need to create a brand name that gives an identity and a good produce and offer something good to tourist.

“This is because it is the brand name that goes into merchandising.

He said that the states must create brands when dealing with the tourism destinations in order to encourage prospective tourist as well as create an avenue to earn revenue

He emphasised that tourism sites and venues of cultural festivals should be equipped with minimum requirements and facilities.

Coker listed some of the facilities to include: emergency services, telephone services, parking space, relaxation spots and conveniences to make people feel comfortable.

Coker also said that tourism sites should have a simple procedure that are globally acceptable and known as seen in other countries such as where to stay as well as where to sit among others.

“There is a lot of packaging to be done in tourism sites like in every other events such as sports, if you buy your ticket to go and watch football, your sit number is allocated immediately.

“This should be replicated in order to make tourism sites attractive.

“If a shopping mall can have facilities such as toilet, seats and telephone signals among others, it is important for it to be replicated in tourism sites.

“We cannot just look at the waterfalls; there is need to create a viewing area.

“It must be maintained,” he said.

Coker said that there are opportunities for state governments to develop their tourism sites, adding that it was another avenue to boost its revenue generation.

He, however, reiterated commitment to partner with stakeholders in order to ensure tourism in Nigeria became a business as well as generate revenue. ( NAN)

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