Tourism Minister Lauds NTDC's Achievements

NIGERIA - The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Senator Bello J. Gada yesterday in Abuja commended the achievements of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) in the area of innovative tourism products which he said has raised the profile of the nation's emerging tourism sector. The minister who was on a familiarisation visit to the parastatal said; "Our ministry is happy to have people with foresight and creative enough to come up with innovation that will boost the tourism sector." The minister pledged his support for the parastatal to enable it achieve its utmost, while describing the tempo of work at the apex tourism body as commendable and urged them to sustain it. The sector he noted was crucial to the realisation of president Yar' Adua's 7-point agenda and the vision 2020, stressing that the visit was to expose his team to the working of NTDC, "so that when we sit down, we will be more knowledgeable about the ways to propel them to greater heights," the minister said. while welcoming the minister to the agency, the Director-General of NTDC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe (OON), acknowledged that it was the first time a minister was visiting the agency barely three weeks of his appointment. Runsewe maintained that tourism holds the secret to economic diversification and sustainable development, given its huge potentials, Citing Countries like Kenya and South Africa that reap millions of dollars from tourism alone. He said his agency has stepped up efforts at sanitising the sector through partnership with the Corporate Affairs Commission and security agencies to rid it of fraudsters who hitherto floated tourism platforms to defraud unsuspecting foreigners. "fraud in tourism sector has reduced drastically as NTDC is taking the fight against fraudsters seriously,'he stressed. The NTDC team later took the minister round some facilities at the corporation's headquarters after presenting some tourism products to the visiting minister including the recently launched satellite navigator.

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