NTDC And The Functionality Of A Board For The Sake Of Tourism In Nigeria

Folarin Coker, Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC].

It’s for the smooth functionality and to prevent executive rascality, as well as for effective supervision by an external quasi-organ, that boards are instituted for agencies and extra-ministerial bodies, where they exist.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review, authored by William W. Wommack on organisation structure and board’s most important function noted that the most crucial role of a board of directors’ is to approve or send back for amendment management’s recommendations about the future direction of the organisation.

This function usually receives minimal attention. Two reasons explain this irony. First, management is often not organised or required to deal with strategic choices within its own ranks—and even less under the questioning of a board of directors.

Second, the board of directors is not usually organised or able to shoulder its responsibility and therefore, their works are done through committees that report to the full board.

Setting up a small group of directors chosen for their relevant expertise, has proven to be an effective way to examine complex issues. Audit, compensation, and nominating committees—in order of their recent rise to prominence—overshadow the older executive committee, whose function tended to become that of the entire board, the study noted.

Thus, the underlying general objective of any organisation must be to create value for both society and the corporation in the case of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC], not just for the management and staff alone.

The NTDC like most parastatals or government agencies are wayward and reckless and have over the years not functioned with a serious board.

However, the current NTDC has a task to perform and with the quality of men and women on the board, the expectation for success is very high and must as such, deliver for the common good of the entire travel and tourism industry, which poor performance of the previous boards have denied Nigeria.

Over the years too, executive rascality has robbed the NTDC of success, and in modern-day board functions, the director-general; whoever he may be, must submit the proposed strategic philosophy [or corporate strategy] to the corporate objectives committee of the board for discussion, debate, modification, and, ultimately, approval.

The current chairman of the board, from my sources, is a complete gentleman and a former bank executive, alongside seasoned politicians and professionals. Therefore, Nigerians and the tourism community in Nigeria will expect nothing but turn around of the sector from total collapse.

The composition according to a document made available to African Travel Times magazine has Mohammed Sabo Nanono, as chairman; Barr. Omasan Agbajoh; Hon. Bola Kuku; Aare Segun Phillips [Executive Chairman, Peacock Travels and Tours Limited], representing Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture [NACCIMA] and Salem Rabo, President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria [FTAN] as members.

Others are representatives of Ministries, Departmental and Agencies [MDAs], leaving out some private sector bodies that were categorically mentioned in the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC] Acts, specifically mentioning associations like the Nigeria Hotel Associations [NHA], Association of Tourism Professionals of Nigeria [ATPN] and National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies [NANTA].

As usual, the director general, Folarin Coker is a member, and so also the corporation’s in-house lawyer who will act as secretary to the board, are also members.

In spite of the omission, the board has no reason for failure, as the caliber of people that are currently there are capable of channeling a positive future for the sector.

The corporation’s bill that has gone to the Senate, now with the House of Representatives must be thoroughly looked into and inputs made possibly before it’s passed.

Any bill that does not take into account the financial standing and possible ways of generating funds in future will only deodorise and glorify the old Acts.

As the writer once proposed to NTDC, that it is only a product like a departure tax that can be collected and shared among three tiers of government, Nigeria for most of our life time will be a tourist generating country and the corporation will go unnoticed, because of the Supreme Court Judgment of September 13th, 2014 ruling, that ceded almost every tourism activities to the states, except international traffic with federal government. The new board must act now and swiftly.

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