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    Saturday, October 7, 2023

    FTAN, Honours Eno, Tarzan, Anyanwu on Tourism Day

    The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has said that the rationale behind its awards to selected individuals in the society is guided by the need to recognise the body of commitment and efforts put in over the years by the recipients.

    Speaking, on the occasion of the presentation of the prestigious Tourism Icon Brand Award to three personalities, which held on the sidelines of the World Tourism Day (WTD) celebration at the Vinpy Hotel, in Uyo Akwa Ibom State recently, President of FTAN, Mr Nkereuwen Onung, explained that the recipients of the honour have lifted the sector through personal efforts committed to the growth and development of the industry.

    The Tourism Icon Brand Award recipients include: the Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Eno; Dr. Ganiyu Balogun Tarzan, and Eze (Dr.) Igwe Patrick Anyanwu.

    In his welcome address at the event, Onung disclosed that the association does not just give awards for the sake of giving awards but instead recognises private sector operators or other individuals who have committed their time, efforts and personal financial resources to lifting the industry. “Without their commitment, most of us would not be here benefiting from the industry as a whole.”

    While receiving his award for Tourism Icon, Igwe Patrick Anyanwu, who also doubles as the President of the Nigeria Hotels Association (NHA), appreciated FTAN for the recognition accorded him, and also the Akwa Ibom Government for honouring the FTAN President with a position in the State Executive Council (SEC), just as he recounted his years of working to grow the hospitality sector of the country’s economy.

    On his part, Dr Balogun Tarzan, fondly called ‘The Boatman,’ who also doubles as the President of the Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters Association (ATBOWATON) while thanking FTAN for the honour bestowed him, urged the Akwa Ibom Governor, Umo Eno to work towards empowering boat operators in the state to enable them expand their operations. “The Akwa Ibom State Government has created the Ibom Air for the air travellers, we want you to also create Ibom Waters so that boat operators can spread their operations to utilise the expansive waterways in the state. You can facilitate boats for the operators and collect your money back from them later. A journey from Uyo to Calabar shouldn’t be more than two hours by water. This can be achieved by empowering these boat or ferry operators with the necessary tools like boats and outboard engines, so the masses can have access to their own improved means of transportation.”

    Responding to this, the Akwa Ibom state’s commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Sir Charles Udoh, said the government is putting necessary infrastructure in place to enable water transportation within the state’s territory.

    The commissioner however explained that inter-state water transportation is not in the hands of the Akwa Ibom State to determine as issues like security and safety are some of the infrastructure that need to be put in place before investing in waterways transportation. “I can assure you that the state government has this on its agenda.

    We are also working on the internal waterways system, by way of putting in place some infrastructure like security. However, we also know that when it involves operations into another state, it’s totally out of our control, as it becomes a federal government matter.”

    While receiving the award on behalf of the Governor, Udoh said the government remains committed to establishing Akwa Ibom as a destination of choice in the country, and the world, as the aim is to create a globally recognised tourist destination for it.”

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