The ambition of Sally Mbanefo, Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC], apex tourism agency in Nigeria has be smoked out in just three months. The new NTDC boss who came with much enthusiasm and zeal in May 2013 following the shocking removal of the former audacious boss, Otunba Segun Runsewe in all honesty is not a happy fellow as a result of administrative failure of the government and the National Assembly to pass into a bill the 2014 budget.
After the NTDC successfully outing in November 2013 at the World Travel Market [WTM] in London, much was expected of the tourism corporation, but not with the unexpected successive events of the agency inability to attend the 2014 Tourism International Fair [FITUR] in January in Madrid, Spain and again its inability to raise fund for a stand at the on-going ITB Berlin International Travel Fair in Berlin, Germany were nothing but; disastrous for the nascent travel and tourism industry in Nigeria.
In a telephone conversation last week, NTDC director general confirmed to www.travelafricanews.com and www.africantraveltimes.com that Nigeria would attend, but would not be exhibiting following delay in the passage of the 2014 budget that has affected all government agencies and institutions, which unfortunately also has a devastating consequences on the tourism agency’s financial standing.
According to her, not showing up at the on-going ITB Berlin holding from March 5-9, 2014 will attract penalty from the organiser, suffice; a skeletal appearance is appropriate, she said. Meanwhile, some Nigerian journalists that were already in Berlin, Germany before it was made public that the tourism agency would not be exhibiting at the event were surprised and one of them noted on his facebook page that “Nigeria not exhibiting at ITB Berlin, first in 15 years” he wrote. Some tourism practitioners that spoke with www.travelafricanews.com and www.africantraveltimes.com noted that the federal government and the National Assembly are toying with tourism development in the country.