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Lai Mohammed reveals plans to grow Nigeria’s Tourism industry

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The Nigerian tourism industry is set for speedy development as the Ministry of Information and Culture, in synergy with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), is set to come up with a new tourism policy for the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed disclosed this during his working visit to the Corporation’s headquarters in Abuja, on Tuesday.

Alh. Mohammed explained that the policy portends great avenue for the development of the nation’s tourism industry, “and it will no doubt lead to an influx of foreigners into Nigeria to appreciate the potentials that abound in the country – our food, music, film, culture and fashion industries which are subsectors of the tourism network.”

Mohammed, who noted that Nigeria made $53 million from film and $51 million from the music industries respectively last year, described Tourism as the fastest-growing sector in Nigeria economy, which, according to him, employs more than one million people, though with the capacity of employing seven million people.

Alh. Mohammed while commending the NTDC’s TourNigeria initiative noted that the NTDC is sitting on a keg of unexplored potentialities. He added that the Corporation also can harness the huge potentials of Nigeria to attract people to Nigeria, “because there are many reasons people should come to Nigeria.

“Nigeria is a country of colours, with 250 ethnic groups, good culture and almost all-year-round good weather. We are blessed with a good music industry that has become global. Our fashion is celebrated globally. Nigeria also has good religious tourism, with lots of people coming to Nigeria every day for religious tourism.”

The Information and Culture minister while commenting on the visa-on-arrival policy for African nationals which began operation since the beginning of this year, said with the policy, the tourism industry will be better off, realise its full potentials and generate more revenue into government coffers and increase the fortune of operators in the industry.

While welcoming the minister, the Director-General of NTDC, Folorunsho Coker identified a paucity of funding as one of the critical problems besetting tourism development in Nigeria aside legislative framework to institutionalise the sector.

He promised not to rest on his oars until the ‘Tour Nigeria’ and ‘Nigerian Flavour’ twin programmes he conceived are driving to their full potentials and replicated in all states of the federation.

Tour Nigeria is a tourism brand, created by the NTDC in 2017, under the Coker-led administration, to promote domestic tourism in Nigeria.

Coker revealed that the Corporation is deploying digital platforms and strategies to revolutionise the sector, saying “We are embracing digital transformation tools to gain more mileage and penetration to sell the Nigerian flavours – music, film, fashion and food to the global world.”

The NTDC boss then reiterated his road map for the Nigerian Tourism, a five-point action plan – acronymic CHIEF (Corporate Governance & Regulations, Human Capital Development, Infrastructural Development, Events and Marketing, and Finance & Investment) – to promote and develop the tourism industry by promoting domestic tourism and encouraging ease of doing business in Nigeria.

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Inclusive Foundation Mourns Veteran Actress, Rachael Oniga

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Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its heartfelt sympathy to family, friends and the entire movie industry over the loss of the veteran actress, Rachael Oniga who died at age 64.

 

 

The CEO of the foundation, Chief (Mrs.) Pat Eleto, in a condolence visit to the family, on Saturday, July 31st, said the news came as a rude shock to many, but she believes that the late actress has created a great impact with her career, and her legacy should never be forgotten.

 

 

In her statement, Chief (Mrs.)Eleto said:

“It is with a heavy heart that I grief with the family of a sister, friend and adviser of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.

 

 

“Mrs. Oniga, is one of our great ambassadors, and we were actually working on a project that is meant for the later part of this year when the sad news of her demise came.

 

 

“Death is inevitable, we pray for the repose of her soul, and may God comfort all the people she left behind. We also hope and pray that all her good legacies, be sustained because, she was indeed a pillar of support to our foundation, and also one of veterans that contributed immensely to the growth of Nollywood,” the statement reads.

 

 

A native of Delta State, Oniga was one of the ambassadors of Inclusive Social Welfare and Empowerment Foundation.

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Alaafin Shuns Ooni-Backed Group Over Alleged Anti-Buhari Posture

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ALAAFIN

The Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi, on Friday, at the last minute, allegedly cancelled an appointment he gave to a Yoruba group, Ooni’s Caucus, on the alleged complaint that members of the group are “notorious critics” of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

 

 

The Ooni’s Caucus, which was inaugurated at the palace of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, on July 20, 2021, is made of many influential Yoruba persons and is being coordinated by a former Managing Director of the News Agency of Nigeria, Mr Akin Osuntokun.

 

 

PUNCH learnt that Osuntokun led about 14 members of the group to Alaafin’s palace for the alleged 11am appointment on Friday, but after waiting for about two and a half hours, the influential monarch sent words to them that he would not be seeing them.

 

 

According to a source, who spoke to  PUNCH on condition of anonymity, some of the group’s members who went to Alaafin’s palace with Osuntokun were a monarch, the Olugbon of Orile-Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; a former presidential spokesman, Dr Doyin Okupe; a former commissioner in Osun State, Muyiwa Ige;  a former Minister of Defence, Mrs Dupe Adelaja; a retired Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Taiwo Lakanu,  Oye Oyewumi, Sola Lawal, among others.

 

 

A former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, is also said to be a member of Ooni’s Caucus, but he was not on the delegation to Alaafin’s palace on Friday.

 

 

The source, who is a member of the group, claimed that the group had through the Olugbon secured an appointment with Alaafin since Monday, and the same appointment was confirmed on Thursday, only for them to get to the palace and the Alaafin refused to see them on the claim that they were anti-Buhari and were also loyalists of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

 

 

The source explained that the main purpose of the meeting was for the newly-inaugurated group to get Alaafin’s blessings and to possibly discuss the issue of the embattled Yoruba Nation agitator, Chief Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho, who is currently being held and tried in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

 

 

The source said, “The Olugbon, a member of the caucus, was the one who booked the appointment, but he said the Alaafin said he didn’t want to see us because we’re notorious critics of the Buhari government.

 

 

“He (Alaafin) confirmed the appointment yesterday (Thursday). But when we got there today, he kept us waiting; after a while, he asked to see the Olugbon. He (Alaafin) didn’t come to see us; we were told he said he wouldn’t see us because we are notorious critics of Buhari’s government and that some of us are close to Obasanjo, who is also critical of the government.

 

 

“We were made to wait for about two and a half hours; he gave us an appointment for 11am; we got there at 11am and at about 1.30pm, that was when it was obvious to us that he wasn’t coming (to see us). But he initially asked to see the Olugbon, who went to see him for about an hour. When the Olugbon eventually came back, he said Alaafin would not see us, saying we are a group that is critical of the Buhari government and some of us are loyalists of Obasanjo.”

 

On whether the group’s mission to Alaafin’s palace was to discuss Sunday Igboho’s matter, the source said, “Of course, the issue (of Igboho) would come up but that was not the purpose of the visit. The issue of Igboho concerns all the Yoruba people but that was not our reason for going to him.”

 

 

On whether the group would try and book another appointment, the source said, “I don’t know; we were all surprised that a Yoruba oba can refuse to see his children on account of not wanting to be on the bad side of Buhari’s government. I would have thought that an oba is supposed to take everybody as his children, whether they are supporters of Buhari the All progressives Congress or the Peoples Democratic Party or whatever party.”

 

 

But when contacted by PUNCH, the Media Director to the Alaafin, Bode Durojaye, said the reason his principal did not see the group was because they did not have any prior appointment with him.

 

 

Durojaye said the Alaafin would be willing to entertain the group if they booked an appointment.

 

 

 

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NMA Reacts As Bandits Break Into, Pick Nurse At Zamfara General Hospital

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Bandits

Suspected bandits invaded General Hospital, Dansadau, Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State on Friday, resulting in the abduction of a nurse and caregiver.

 

 

Residents said that immediately the men stormed the medical facility, the armed men headed to the outpatient ward in search of a doctor or nurse.

 

 

“When they couldn’t find anybody there, they started going from one ward to another. A nurse and a caregiver were abducted. They then moved to staff quarters looking for doctors and nurses but could not find any.”

 

 

“The armed criminals had earlier attempted to attack Maigoge, a community located six kilometres north of Dansadau town.

 

 

“But when they laid siege to the community, the vigilantes otherwise known as Yan Sakai firmly defended the village. The vigilante killed some of the bandits and injured several others.

 

 

“They then invaded the hospital to kidnap nurse and doctors that will treat their injured brothers in the forest.”

 

 

 

Maigoge is one of the few communities in Dansadau Emirate known to be firmly defending themselves against bandits.

 

 

“The staff of the facility are not carrying out night duties now. They only attend to patients at day time. They then move inside the town to spend night usually at undisclosed locations,” he added.

 

 

Meanwhile, the chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association in Zamfara state, Dr Mannir Bature, who confirmed the attack said the association is worried by the unfortunate incident.

 

 

He said they would hold an emergency state officers council meeting on Saturday.

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