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    Hospitality: Cross River State Kicks-off ₦10m Bailout Funds to Businesses in Financial Crisis

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    The Cross River State Government through its Tourism Bureau, has commenced the process of providing ₦10 Million bailout funds to businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry experiencing financial difficulty, to revamp the industry.

    The Managing Director of the Cross River State Tourism Bureau, Mr. Ojoi Ekpenyong kick-started the process with the inauguration of a grant administration committee made up of state government industry players and selected representatives of the state’s chapter of Hoteliers Association.

    Prior to the inauguration of the committee at a Tourism Stakeholders Consultative Forum in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, southern Nigeria, Mr. Ekpenyong said that the government was committed to the restoration of the industry, which suffered neglect during COVID-19.

    Ekpenyong stated, “the governor of Cross River State, Senator Bassey Otu is determined to restore the tourism industry with the collaboration of the private sector. In the past eight years especially during the COVID-19 lockdown, a lot of businesses including hotels shutdown and since then have yet to recover coupled with the current economic downturn.
    “It is based on these factors that Governor Otu pledge a Ten Million (₦10,000,000.00) Naira grant to Hoteliers to scale up their businesses. The desire of government is to have hotels and others in the hospitality sector offer world class services. So, what we are doing here is to achieve that goal in partnership with the association,” he said.

    Reacting to some pertinent issues raised by the stakeholders at the consultative forum regarding training, security, ease of doing business such as multiple taxes, the Managing Director said, “the governor is not aware of any arbitrary levies or taxes such as radio and television taxes. However, I can assure you all that the bureau is going to meet with all government agencies involved with tax collection with a view to harmonizing taxes.”
    He reminded the stakeholders that the selection of beneficiaries for the grant would be predicated on registration, licence and membership of the Cross River State Hoteliers Association.

    Commendable Gesture
    Some stakeholders at the consultative forum such as the Chairman of the Cross River State Hoteliers Association, Mr. Charles Ogar and the Vice President of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, Mrs Justina Ovat in separate remarks commended the governor, Senator Otu for instituting a bailout fund to assist owners of hotels undergoing financial crises.

    The stakeholders urged state actors to totally synergize with the private sector for a more vibrant the tourism industry as well as take deliberate steps to harmonize state and local government taxes and pledged their readiness to collaborate with the state government on training of personnel within the hospitality industry for efficient service delivery.

    A longstanding tourism industry participant, Mr. Ray Ugba Murphy appreciated the governor for the decision to give One Million Naira grant to 10 selected hotels in Calabar, noting “in a depressed economy, a responsible and responsive government gives a boost to businesses because a lot of people, who have made investments over the years are weary of continuing to invest and that is why some hotels closed down to become hostels or rooming houses.

    “So, the governor recognising this need to give confidence to the operators shows that the government is really committed to returning tourism to Cross River,” he said.
    The forum had the theme: Empowering Hotels, Investing in Excellence – Our Commitment to Sustainable Tourism.

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    Escaped Hyena in Jos, Nigeria Successfully Captured by Local Tourism Board After Drone and Ranger Search

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    Escaped Hyena in Jos, Nigeria Successfully Captured by Local Tourism Board After Drone and Ranger Search

    A hyena that was loose in the central Nigerian city of Jos has been successfully captured, the local tourism board has reported.

    According to Akonitv, drones and rangers searched for the animal after it escaped from the Jos Wildlife Park, causing panic among residents in the area. The hyena had “finally been found, tranquilised, captured and returned to its enclosure”, the tourism board said in a statement.

    It is unclear how the hyena escaped but, according to the tourist board, it had been inside a cage. Many people in Jos were scared, despite assurances from wildlife experts that the chances of the hyena attacking were slim.

    “Hyenas are very fearful of humans – the animal is more likely to run away than attack,” said Abba Gandu, who is based at Kano Zoo in the north of the country, and has worked with lions and hyenas for 50 years.

    “It normally excretes when scared and I foresee that happening when people finally get to it.”
    Wildlife escapes are not new in Nigeria. In 2015, a four-year-old lion was shot dead after it had escaped from the same park.

    At the time, police said the lion was hostile during attempts to return it to its enclosure and was put down before it could harm anyone.

    In nearby Kano state in 2019, a lion also escaped while rangers were trying to return it to a cage after attending a national agricultural show. It was later found after hours of searching.

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    Hyena Escapes From Jos Wildlife Park

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    Hyena Escapes From Jos Wildlife Park

    The management of Plateau State Tourism Corporation has confirmed the escape of a Hyena from the Jos Wildlife Park.

    A statement signed by the General Manager of the Corporation, Mr Chuwang Pwajok reads that” We would like to inform the general public that the Hyena which recently escaped from its cage at the Jos Wildlife Park is currently being tracked by our dedicated team of game guards and Park Rangers with the assistance of drone technology.”

    He assured the public that the corporation are taking all necessary measures to locate the escaped animal and ensure its safe return to its enclosure soonest.”

    “We kindly request the public to remain calm and avoid any approach to the Hyena if sighted,” the statement further reads.

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    FTAN to deliberate on way forward for tourism industry at 27th AGM

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    FTAN to deliberate on way forward for tourism industry at 27th AGM

    The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), has announced plans for its 27th Annual General Meeting scheduled for July 30, 2024, in Abuja.

    While briefing the Travel Press during a zoom meeting, Aliyu Badaki, chairman of the planning committee, disclosed that the AGM is non-elective and holds on the theme, ‘The role of the private sector in the development of tourism in Nigeria’.

    He explained that the theme is timely and in line with the happenings in the sector, the economy and the country at large.

    The chairman also revealed that the meeting would feature a panel session with Philda Nani Kereng, High Commissioner of Botswana to Nigeria, as the lead speaker. He expressed confidence that her wealth of experience in tourism would contribute immensely to the renewed hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in the area of tourism.

    In the face of the economic reality, Badaki said that the AGM would provide another good platform for the government and the private sector to deliberate on challenges and how to drive tourism in Nigeria.

    Dignitaries expected as the event include: Lola Ade-John, Minister of Tourism; Hannatu Musa Musawa, Minister of Culture; John Owan Enoh, Minister of Sports; Folorunsho Coker, director general of NTDA; Nura Kangiwa, director general of NIHOTOUR; Ifeanyi Okeke, director general, SON; ECOWAS Commissioner of Tourism; Board of Trustees, FTAN, and other key stakeholders.

    According to him, with the calibre of panelists and high-powered dignitaries expected to grace the occasion, result-oriented deliberations and impactful networking are underway, as the AGM is the first time after a long while the industry is going to witness such key players coming together to chart a new course for the sector.

    Meanwhile, the AGM will serve as a flagship event for NTIFE, FTAN’s event, which comes up in November 2024.

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