NTDC: Assessing Coker’s ‘CHIEF’ tourism plan

By Ibrahim Ramalan

Amidst the unending desire to append a reasonable economic value to tourism, which until recently did not occupy a cardinal space in the country’s economic scheme of things, the Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr Folarin Coker recently unveiled a fi ve point strategic action plan named CHIEF. ‘CHIEF’ is an acronym that represents Corporate Governance & Regulations, Human Capital Development, Infrastructural Development, Events and Marketing, and Finance & Investment, which are all geared towards promoting domestic tourism and encouraging the ease of

doing business in Nigeria. Th e DG, who spoke extensively in an interactive session with the media in Lagos and Abuja recently, said that since the key components to tourism are travel, accommodation and entertainment/hospitality, he would explore partnerships with airlines, hotels, car hire services, tour operators and others to bring out aff ordable package tours to encourage Nigerians to tour Nigeria. According to Coker, new ways of making tourism work must e developed by partnering with people that can work eff ectively through their expertise to bring innovative and workable ideas to grow the tourism industry. “We are looking at private sector initiative that would focus on tourism as a viable industry because we have the products. Also considering Nigeria bank’s interest rate, it is too high for the industry players to access. So we are looking at making Tourism Intervention Fund or Tourism Development Fund a reality for the stakeholders to access.

“We have to look for diff erent ingredients to make things work and in this direction, we going to use our population as a comparative advantage as well as the big picture of Pan African to drive the goals. Th e session, which coincided with the launching of the brand campaign to promote Nigeria: ‘Tour Nigeria’, saw the DG as saying that plan captures the Tourism Development Road Map with short, medium and long-term objectives, adding that such innovation would to improve tourism service delivery and eff ectiveness in critical sectors of the industry. Coker who acknowledged the importance of Nigeria population in the context of tourism patronage said the country is proudly the most populous black nation on Earth, home to the second largest fi lm industry on the globe, whilst also being the fashion, technological and creative hub in Africa. “In line with our agenda to promote domestic and regional tourism, the ‘Tour Nigeria brand was conceived to drive domestic consumption of our tourism assets and products, create new channels of tourism markets, add to the nation’s GDP, create employment, and increase spending in the economy.

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