By VICTOR NZE
Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Information and Culture minister, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, and Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, as well as the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II, are among top dignitaries expected at the 41st Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA).
The event scheduled for March 21 at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos, will also be graced by Director General of the Nigerian Institute of Tourism and Hospitality (NIHOTOUR), Mrs. Chika Balogun and the Acting Director General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Mariel Rae-Omoh, among others.
This is also as the travel agencies’ umbrella body has set machinery in motion for the successful actualization of its 41st non elective AGM.
Speaking at the AGM briefing at the NANTA office in Lagos on Friday March 3, president of NANTA, Mr Bankole Bernard, said the AGM with the theme: Tourism in a recessed economy: The way forward is aimed at taping into the low hanging fruits in tourism at this period of recession.
Adding that the AGM has become imperative because NANTA has become a relevant voice in the aviation industry, Bernard observed that the planned closure of Abuja airport is an opportunity in disguise for their members to look into the untapped tourism potential within the zone.
He stated that NANTA has achieved a lot of visibility in his one year as the president of the body including professionalism for the members who are no longer seen as touts, but as professionals.
On the issue of most of the foreign airlines not going to Kaduna because of the closure of Abuja airport, he said some of the airlines may have a rethink when Abuja airport is finally closed.
Also speaking, Frist Deputy President of NANTA and chairperson of the AGM organising committee, Mrs Susan Akporiaye disclosed that the keynote speakers will include the former director general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Dr Harold Demuren ‘who will be speaking from the government aspect having served as the DG of a government agency and know how thing are run in government, while the chief executive officer of Med-View Airline, Alhaji Muneer Bankole will be speaking from a private sector angle having been running Med-View Airline.’
Mrs. Akporiaye added that all the stakeholders in the aviation industry like NCAA, FAAN, South African Airways, South African Tourism and others are expected to be at the event.