Rise of dollar against Naira, pandemic against tourism- DG NTDC

Director General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation ( NTDC), Foluronsho Coker has expressed concern over the sudden rise of the US dollar against the Naira is posing a huge threat to the survival of tourism and related enterprises in Nigeria and in third-world countries.

He likened the dollar situation, particularly its scarcity to another COVID-19 pandemic, which has affected the fabric of goods and services in Nigeria in recent times.

“The dollar has ravaged our industry, from aviation fuel, spare parts purchases,  Hospitality and recreation services,  transportation,  logistics, and the entire national economic architecture,  this currency has assumed a scarcity presence,  and snuffing life of the tourism sector,”  Coker explained.

 

Folorunso Coker

The NTDC boss pleaded that the process and engagement should not have political colouration and undertone to avoid polluting the heritage value chain.

“ I am going on a road show in the southwest to appeal to the traditional rulers to hold on to what is true, enduring, and beneficial to the growth of our festivals.  We should not pollute the festivals and cannot turn festival grounds into political podiums leading to violence ” Coker stated further.

Speaking on the sidelines of a breakfast time out in Lagos, Saturday morning,  Coker who was part of the Osun Oshogbo festival which ended on Friday,  stated that Nigeria must not lose sight of the unification process which various festivals in the country desire to promote.

He bemoaned the disturbing tribal and religious sing-song which is fast eating up the fabrics of national unity and cohesion.

“We grew up in Nigeria not concerned about where anyone comes from,  your dialect, or those things which irritate relationships.  We saw ourselves as neighbours, family, and friends, so I wonder at the divisions and acrimonies  over ethnic and religious sentiments which unfortunately is eroding  the fabric of national unity,  peace, and development.”

The NTDC helmsman observed that the Lagos government has reintroduced history and culture studies in its schools, noting that it’s a welcome healing process that would remain, teach and educate children about the richness of Nigerian cultural tourism history and tradition, urging other states’ governments to emulate the intervention to the benefit of the country unification process and cohesion.

“At NTDC, we wish to help give our people hope and faith in Nigeria, Indeed, these are difficult times and people are worried about tomorrow, tourism businesses bleeding but we shall preach hope, stand in the gap, lift up depressed minds even though we don’t have all the resources but we will try to navigate the process,  collaborate with industry associations and together,  we can win these challenges and return our country to winning ways.  Nigeria’s image must be salvaged no controversies about it and we call out all hands on to the rescue efforts”.

Wole Shadare