President of federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN, Mr. Nkereuwem Onung has called on the Federal Capital Territory Administration FCTA, to collaborate with the private sector to revamp some of the cultural festivals in FCT.
Mr. Nkereuwem Onung made the call in Abuja when he visited the minister of state for FCT Hajia Ramatu Aliyu in her office with some members of the new executives and council members.
The president said that the visit was to introduce the newly elected FTAN executives to the Minister And to also strengthen the existing relationship established by the predecessors as well as to seek for new collaboration.
The president while acknowledging the efforts of the government in tourism development, stressed the need for the administration to also collaborate with the private sector to develop some of the tourism sites within the FCT. Such as Jabi lake and others.
The FTAN boss commended the FCT Administration for the approval of the first ever Auto sports car race competition and for the role the FCT played during the first track exercise in Abuja which he said it is another positive step to contribute to tourism in FCT.
He appealed to the minister for the speedy completion of the hosting process to enable the road show take off fully.
The president told the minister that FTAN wants to continue to collaborate with FCT in hosting Nigerian Tourism Investors forum and Exhibition, NTIFE.
He said the annual event has held 6 editions successful so far.
“Together NTIFE will take Tourism to the next level of development”
He reminded the minister of the letter sent by FTAN indicating interest to partner with FCT to develop some tourism sites within FCT.
He said it is important to create a wider circuit so that when people come to do business in Abuja they will have where to go.
In his word “for the environment that we belong, they will be a need for a tourism village, some land could be set aside for the private sector by the Government.
“We could together develop this property so that anybody who comes to Nigeria will have a feel of our tourism potentials and we believe if this is given attention, it will further promote our tourism perspective as a nation”.
FTAN President also used the visit to request for a land to build a tourism house in FCT for the Federation.
He also informed the minister of FTAN plan to host a National Tourism Summit in Abuja where all stakeholders in the sector will come together to brainstorm on the achievements,challenges and way forward.
Mr. Nkereuwem Onung raised alarm over multiple taxation between FCT and AMAC and advised on the need to harmonize all the tariff on taxes to enable businesses in FCT to strive.
Responding on tourism in FCT, the minister of FCT Hajia Ramatu Aliyu disclosed that so many plans are on the pipeline for revamping the Abuja festivals. On developing the Mpape crushed rock, she said that government is already putting structures on ground to develop the site to the standard that will attract both local and international tourists on daily basis to the site. She identified some challenges that needs to be addressed before proper development of the site to include; relocation of the residents from the area, which she said will require compensation, security, access road amongst others.
The Honorable Minister decried the level of poor standard in Hotel facilities within FCT and promised to partner with FTAN to embark on a tour to access the facilities and services render in various hotels. She said the tour will also enable them to discover other activities going on in the hotels.
Hajia Ramatu Aliyu described multiple taxation as a burning issue that is not only affecting members of FTAN alone but also those doing businesses within FCT.
She blamed it on double policies, saying that the issue is receiving due diligence even at the National Assembly.
She assured that government will soon come up with policies that will address the issue of overlapping jurisdiction.
Responding to the land requested by FTAN president, the minister assigned her aide to follow it up with the department of Urban and regional planning to ensure that land is allocated to the Federation within the shortest possible time.
She also promised to collaborate with FTAN on FCT tourism master plan.