The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has
urged the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) to
collaborate with the Federal Government to advance tourism development
and promotion in Nigeria.
The Minister, who stated this in Abuja on Monday when he received the
newly-inaugurated council of FTAN on a courtesy visit to his office,
said FTAN should consider itself as a partner, rather than as an adversary,
of the government.
"FTAN is the umbrella body under which every association involved in
tourism resides. It is backed by law. FTAN is not just a voluntary
association or an NGO, it is a major stakeholder in the tourism
industry and from the membership of FTAN - ranging from tour
operators, car hire Operators to hotel owners and professionals in the
industry - you can see that virtually everybody that has a role to
play in tourism comes under the umbrella of FTAN.
''That is why I always look forward to engaging with FTAN because I
see them as a partner in our effort to move tourism forward," he said.
Alhaji Mohammed said tourism thrives through the involvement of
government - which provides infrastructure and makes policies and
regulations - the private sector and the community.
He said the present administration is currently exploring a
sustainable tourism development model, which ensures that the
infrastructure and lifestyle of a particular community reflect the
tourism opportunities being provided.
"There is no point in having a five-star hotel in a one-star
community. If you want to build a five-star hotel, you must also
necessarily upgrade the infrastructure of the area but, most
importantly, is that you must ensure the livelihood and lifestyle of
the community is also five-star,'' the Minister said.
Alhaji Mohammed said the government will leverage on the expertise and
network of FTAN to ensure the success of the African Tourism Ministers
Meeting, to be held under the platform of the United Nations World
Tourism Organisation in Abuja next year.
In his remarks, the President of FTAN, Alhaji Rabo Kareem, said his
delegation visited the minister in order to forge a synergy with the
government, with a view to developing and promoting tourism in the
"The private sector is one of the main arms of tourism development and
promotion in the country, as such there is a need to have a very good
synergy with the government so that we can operate on the same
understanding and then we will be able to move the industry forward,"