Wednesday, February 15, 2012

NTDC and Seven Wonders of Nigeria

Do you know Nigeria’s Fantabulous Septet?  

Obudu Mountain Resort, Idanre Hills, Sukur Kingdom, Kano Walls, Benin Moats, Osun Groove, National War Museum.


The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) is poised to launch a new phase in its strident resolve to market sites and destinations across Nigeria.

It could be recalled that after roughly 24 months of traversing the country, followed by series of votings; Obudu Mountain Resort, Cross River State; Idanre Hills, Ondo State; Sukur Kingdom, Adamawa State; Kano Walls, Kano State; Benin Moats, Edo State; Osun Groove, Osogbo, Osun State and National War Museum, Umuahia, Abia State; emerged the top Seven Wonders of Nigeria.

Speaking during a visit to the Tourism Village by the management team of Naija Seven Wonders project, led by Mr. Ikechi Uko; NTDC Director General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, declared that each site among the recently unveiled Seven Wonders of Nigeria would be accorded special consideration in the renewed bid to boost tourism development in the light of each site’s unique features that led to their endorsement by voters of “Naija 7 Wonders”.

Mr. Uko, who is also the progenitor of Akwaaba, an annual African Travel Market fair held in Lagos; informed Otunba Runsewe that the essence of the project was to promote tourism in the country and instill national pride in Nigerians.

Further explaining the essence of the project on behalf of other members of the committee, Mr. Uko observed that the philosophy of the project stems from a quote by Marcel Proust which says, “The real voyage of discovery comes not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes”.

He maintained that among all the destinations in Nigeria, only Obudu Ranch Resort, which has the longest cable car in Africa; boasts world class facilities. This project cordinator went on to express his wish that other tourism destinations would take a cue from Obudu Ranch.

Uko declared he was widely travelled having crisscrossed the nooks and crannies of Nigeria and visited several countries around the world, some of such trips courtesy NTDC; added that ironically, some countries with very high crime rates actually get more tourists.

Therefore, irrespective of Nigeria’s drawbacks, “tourism still has a brilliant potential, if only our destinations were repositioned properly for the international market”, Uko reasoned.

While thanking Otunba Runsewe for his support and advice in the course of executing the project, Mr. Uko revealed that initially, he feared that government might interfere in the choice of the 7 sites; but, that was not the case as the committee was allowed to do its job without distraction.

In his remark, Otunba Runsewe lauded the project team saying its efforts complement the practical-based approach to tourism development, which his NTDC administration has adopted from inception. This strategy, Otunba Runsewe expatiated, fostered the positive collaboration between NTDC and the Naija Seven Wonders project team.

The NTDC helmsman went on to add that the committee has assisted in adding value to Nigeria’s destination marketing product noting that his new strategy would be to engage state governments in the promotion of tourism destinations within their domain.

Otunba Runsewe, who also promised to reward members of the committee with certificates of honour and a special dinner after a convenient date would have been chosen, said the 7 wonders of tourism in Nigeria is a re-awakening call to further advance our tourism destinations to the world.

While informing the committee that there was still more work to be done, Runsewe urged everyone to support such noble ventures as demonstrated by the project “Naija 7 wonders”.

Prior to rounding up, Mr. Uko presented souvenirs which include documents of the committee’s job to Otunba Runsewe; while the latter “retaliated” through NTDC-branded souvenirs to members of the committee.

1. Granite Throne of Hidi of Sukur Kingdom at Sukur Cultural Landscape, Nigeria’s first UNESCO Heritage Site and one of the Seven Wonders of Nigeria.

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