President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mrs. Susan Akporiaye said that Pastor Umo Bassey Eno N500,000,000 (Five Hundred Million Naira) Tourism seed fund geared towards breathing life into hospitality, tourism and cultural entrepreneurship in Akwa Ibom state, is most ambitious dedicated effort ever undertaken by any individual or political party in Nigeria in recent times.
Akporiaye, who also doubles as second Deputy President of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) hailed the robust intent and practical tourism policy of Pastor Eno, who is the gubernatorial candidate of the People’s Democratic Party(PDP) in Akwa Ibom state, as a pragmatic and ambitious effort ever made to the industry anywhere in Nigeria.
He added that such indicative agenda is desirable to truly restart tourism after the pandemic which crippled the industry and the players.
” I am excited and happy about this very thoughtful effort by Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, and I must say it is a very daring lubricant needed at this point in time in the industry buffeted by the pandemic. I do sincerely hope, he will get the right people to drive and manage the fund, deploying it to verified industry players and not for mere political grandstanding.”
Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, in what is seen as most audacious insight into PDP tourism blueprint in Akwa Ibom in the coming election and unarguably in the entire Nigeria political advocacy space for tourism revival, Tuesday last week, at the first Akwa Ibom state Tourism Roundtable 2022, disclosed that he would personally enthrone a Tourism Entrepreneurship fund to help galvanise aggressive rebound of the state’s rich cultural tourism values and endorsements with intent to pedestal the state as a tourist economic destination.
The roundtable with the theme: Akwa Ibom State: Succeeding in the Lead of Limitless Possibilities, also provided a platform for Dr. Eyo Ekong of Allied People Movement to share his party’s cultural tourism policy if elected into office in the state come 2023.
NANTA President, who is the first female industry private sector leader at the national level from Akwa Ibom sate, informed that the “Drumming and Vibes of Tourism” from Akwa Ibom, is what is expected to drive economic issues based campaigns of Nigeria political parties across all divide and sentiments in Nigeria, since oil economy has failed the nation.
He reiterated that funding the Nigerian cultural tourism experience, will provide jobs, and develop rural communities and also unify the people of Nigeria.
“We at NANTA are waiting to see which of our political leaders and their parties, will come up with a practical blueprint to truly revive our cultural tourism and hospitality opportunities. We shall vote on the lines of true practical efforts in this regard, particularly for parties that will elevate tourism structures and institutions as frontiers of state or national instruments of integration and economic development. NANTA shall mobilise its members across the nation to partner such focal and practicable tourism agenda for the good of our people and nation,”Akporiaye explained further.
She noted that NANTA will keep eyes on Pastor Umo Bassey Eno tourism fund intervention, now and after the elections in Akwa Ibom state