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Collaborations in tourism sector translate into economic viability

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By Miriam Humbe

Activities aimed at further repositioning the tourism sector gathered momentum during the past week with collaborations with various stakeholders at different levels.
The Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke appeared to have kick-started the efforts with an evening out at the Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja with Chairmen of National Assembly committees on tourism and culture and their members as well as hotel operators and other stakeholders in the tourism and culture industry. It was time to sensitise on the ministry's activities with regards to developing cultural industries project in Nigeria.
It was indeed a week for collaborations in the tourism sector. At the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), the office of the Director-General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe was a beehive of activities, with state governments, media organisations and student bodies alike taking their turns to interact with the apex tourism body.
The NTDC expressed its desire to collaborate with Oyo and Kwara state governments in all ramifications and assured of his commitment in the renewed drive to harness the tourism potentials of the states. The D-G made this position known when a delegation from the state tourism board, led by the Special Adviser to the Oyo state government on culture and tourism, Mrs. Amao Olubunmi paid him a working visit.
The NTDC also announced its intention to engage Kaduna-based Liberty Radio Station to officially propagate its massage on mobilisation tourism industry in its efforts to the secure 1 million supporters for Team Nigeria at the 2012 Olympics in London.
The announcement was made by the Director-General of the Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe during a visit by members of the station's management led by its Executive Chairman, Alhaji Tijjani Ramalan at the Tourism Village, Abuja.
Otunba Runsewe promised to immediately commence a program called "Tourism Today”, which will feature among other things, old school music and NTDC-sponsored messages highlighting investment in tourism, youth empowerment and other business and economic issues.
The National Association of Niger Delta Students (NANDS) also paid a courtesy call on the D-G and appreciated him with an award of Distinguished Nigerian Personality in Diligent Service to Father-Land. This, they said, was in recognition of Otunba Runsewe for his support to the transformation agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in the area of tourism development. Comrade Lucky Emonefe, National President of the association handed over the award on behalf of the students.
The collaborative activities culminated into an award of Most Enterprising Director-General for the Year 2011 on the DG by African Newspapers of Nigeria, publishers of the Tribune Newspapers. Immediately, a rush of compliments began flooding in, with high-profile Nigerians showering encomiums on the Director-General.
The Chief Servant of Niger state, Dr. Mu'Azu Babangida Aliyu described Otunba Runsewe as a dedicated and hardworking public officer while the wife of the late frontline nationalist and sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Mrs. HID Awolowo declared that Runsewe won Tribune's most enterprising DG of the year award because of his avowed commitment to

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