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    Aso Rock, potential revenue generating tourist site -Expert



    Government to allow both local and international tourists to visit Aso Rock.

    During the 10th edition of the Wonders of Nigeria Expo in Lagos, Adedayo, while offering the suggestion, emphasized its potential for enlightenment and revenue generation.

    He noted that Nigeria has the potential to generate significant revenue, similar to the United Kingdom’s earnings from tourists visiting Buckingham Palace.

    He pointed out that Aso Rock, serving as Nigeria’s seat of power, boasts beautiful structures, attractive landscapes, and lush vegetation in its vicinity, making it a promising revenue source for the nation.

    “It is time to learn from other nations, the story of Buckingham Palace comes to my mind.”

    “According to the United Kingdom Independent Newspaper of Saturday, May, 6, 2023, the Royal family in its annual report of 2019-2020, a record of 3,285,000 people visited the official residences, generating approximately £49,859,000.”

    “Gift shop sales of the royal collection made £19,983,646 in a single year, making its total income of the year to be £71,526,000.”

    “While the average annual cost for UK taxpayers in royal upkeep comes to around £500 million in a year, Brand Finance estimates that the monarchy’s brand contributes £2.5 billion to the British economy in the same time frame.”

    “Nigeria can also generate as much huge revenue when we allow other nations and citizens to visit the Aso Rock while they pay for sightseeing,” he said.

    Adedayo said imagery remains a powerful tool to promote tourism in Nigeria as it evolves emotions, sparks curiosity and creates the desire to experience a destination first-hand.

    He said imagery could be utilised effectively in tourism promotion through photographs of stunning landscapes, cultural experiences, landmark attractions, hospitality and accommodation, seasonal imagery, local wildlife and nature.

    The documentary photographer who exhibited 1,000 photographs of tourism sites across the nation, shared personal horrible experiences trying to take certain pictures for tourism promotion in Nigeria.

    “I was nearly shot in the State House, Abuja, when I was pointing the president’s residence to my friend’s children who came to Nigeria for the first time from Canada in 2010.”

    “I had been locked behind the counter several times across the country for taking pictures and I have to pay so much to get out of trouble to bring you some of the pictures I am showing you today.”

    “Today, we can promote, explore and appreciate Nigeria’s culture where we are with the democratisation of photography through smart phones, you can post your pictures on social media and only God knows the length it goes,” he said.

    Speaking, Mr Ikechi Uko, organiser of Wonders of Nigeria Expo, said photography and storytelling were the necessary tools needed to change the narratives in the tourism space.

    Uko urged tourism operators to engage these tools in projecting the nation’s tourism endowments to the world, to attract tourists.

    He advised the operators to ensure photographs used for marketing are properly authenticated.

    He also encouraged them to relay personal experiences at these sites through their social media pages and every avenue considered as storytelling.

    “Photography and storytelling are the necessary tools needed to change the narratives in the tourism space but ensure you authenticate pictures before using it for tourism promotion,” he said.

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    Foreigners patronizing private hospitals in Nigeria-NMA



    Foreigners patronizing private hospitals in Nigeria-NMA

    Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has confirmed that some foreigners have taken interest in the quality of health care services being provided by some private health care facilities in Nigeria, hence the increased patronage of such facilities by the foreigners.

    Its President, Dr. Audu Bala, told journalists at a press conference, in Abuja, on Wednesday, that the patronage by foreigners from different countries of the world is an indication of the growing confidence and trust in the health care services in Nigeria as championed by the private sector.

    He said: “private sector, all over the world, play critical role in providing quality health care services to the people. Nigeria, undoubtedly, has a very high medical tourism rate. Nigerians visit medical facilities in different countries in search for quality health care services.

    “To this end, it’s important to adequately engage the private sector to turn the medical tourism in favour of Nigeria. There are several key players that have invested heavily and had left a landmark in the quality of care they provide to the people.

    “There are number of private health care facilities that receive patients from other parts of the world. So, additional investment and support for the private health care facilities would go a long way, and also champion the campaign for the reversal of medical tourism in Nigeria.”

    He made reference to recent proposal by the Association for the establishment of the National Tertiary Health Care Development Fund that will function like the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in the education sector.
    “This will enable the government to provide adequate funding for the tertiary health institutions. It will also open additional gateways that will even support the private sector access fund with low interest rate,” he said.

    Reacting to the recent corruption index report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the NMA President faulted the report, insisting that his members have and had maintained high level of integrity and respect in their interactions with patients in the hospital.

    He said: “The report placed the rate of bribery amongst adults who accessed healthcare services in public hospitals at very minimal percentage. We are working to reduce the figure to the bearest minimum.

    “The fact that services of Doctors and Nurses in public sector is the least corruptible is the attestation to the integrity and ethics within the health sector.”

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    Uzodinma’s infrastructural development will attract investors, tourists – Imo lawmaker



    Uzodinma’s infrastructural development will attract investors, tourists – Imo lawmaker

    Johnleoba Iheoha, representing Ikeduru State Constituency in the Imo State House of Assembly, and chairman, House of Assembly Standing Committee on Industry and Commerce, has said that the South East geopolitical zone would witness an upsurge of investors and tourists from within and outside the country when the ongoing works at the Nekede Imo International Market and the Assumpta Roundabout flyover are completed.

    Johnleoba, who spoke to newsmen, had described the Imo International Market, Nekede, located along Port Harcourt Road, as an outstanding business outfit that will help to position the state as an investment hub within Sub-Saharan Africa.

    The Imo legislator noted that the international market is an expansive market with the capacity to accommodate thousands of traders and allied workers in various trades and businesses.

    As he inspected the ongoing construction work at the Assumpta Roundabout flyover, said that the flyover would not only be an added glamour to the beauty of Owerri, but will go a long way to enhance free flow of traffic.

    He also spoke on the ongoing state-owned electricity power generation project at Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area, saying that it would help the state to be self-sufficient in power generation and supply, which he saw as a prelude to industrial revolution in the state.

    Johnleoba equally commended Governor Uzodinma for the sponsorship of the recently concluded three-day capacity building workshop for principal officers of the Imo State House of Assembly at the National Institute of Legislative and Democratic Studies, Abuja.

    According to him, “The capacity building programme has added great value to every member of the 10th State House of Assembly.

    I now have greater knowledge, broader horizon, immeasurable zeal and courage to function as a lawmaker.

    “I now know better, my rights and privileges as well as the rights of the people who mandated me to represent them in the legislative house,” he said.

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    FAAN: Improvement of Passenger Facilitation, Security Gave Boost to Tourism



    FAAN: Improvement of Passenger Facilitation, Security Gave Boost to Tourism

    The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said that its improvement of airport facilities, passenger facilitation and security has encouraged tourism in Nigeria.

    The agency said that the drastic action taken by the Managing Director, Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku against touting at the airports has brought sanity and orderliness to the satisfaction of travellers.

    Kuku identified some of these achievements when she spoke at the Wings of Change Focus Africa Conference (WOCFA) overseen by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) last week; held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

    A statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs & Consumer Protection, Obiageli Orah, said FAAN has recently taken steps to make Nigeria’s airports safe and accessible by genuine tourists and travellers and has also made efforts to eliminate touting and other forms of criminal conducts around the airports.

    FAAN boss also spoke on the recent creation of a dedicated Department for Cargo Services in the agency, as stakeholders emphasized the need for improvement of trade facilitation, including air cargo facilities and infrastructure, cargo compliance, closer collaboration amongst African countries and Stakeholders as well as Cargo Specialized Training for stakeholders.

    There was emphasis on digitalization of passenger processing and how the embrace of robotics technology by airports in Africa would help to give customers further experience of speed, efficiency and excellence. The use of technology to drive efficiency has been part of FAAN’s priority agenda under the present dispensation.

    Making his input on the first day of the conference, the Minister of Aviation & Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, emphasised the need for removal of visa restrictions to enable free movement of people and goods across the continent, stating that to achieve this, there is need to work with Foreign Affairs Ministers across Africa.

    The Minister equally made a case for adequate funding of air transport in Africa.

    Also speaking at the event, IATA,s Regional Vice President, Africa & Middle East, Kamil Alawadhi called for pursuit of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, which constitutes part of FAAN’s recent programmes.

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