‘Nigerians will continue to travel abroad for medical treatment’
*NTDC’s Tour to boost country’s GDP with domestic tourism
The Director General of Nigerian Tourism and Development Corporation (NTDC), Folorunsho Coker has said that Nigerians would continue to travel abroad for healthcare services if nothing is done to save the system soon.
Addressing journalists at the strategic meeting towards promoting historical and cultural exchanges between South Africa and Nigeria, Coker added that health issues should be taken more seriously in the country because it tends to affect tourism.
“Reports on communicable disease outbreak would definitely scare tourists and investors away from Nigeria and the synergy with other countries that we intend achieve would remain impossible,” he added.
Urging the media to be wary of propaganda health reportage, Coker said that journalists should report news events carefully.
“The only way to achieve this is for journalists to have a good understanding of the health sector and be driven by positive information,” he added.
“Although Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Osinbajo (SAN) has recently assured that, despite challenging times, the Buhari administration is committed to improving healthcare in the country through its Social Investment Programmes and other initiatives aimed at enhancing the wellbeing and livelihood of all Nigerians, much is yet to be seen.”
On his administration mandate, Coker added it is to reverse the negative conversation, galvanise commercial tourism, promote diverse multicultural heritage, and innovate new channels of tourism market whilst promoting Nigeria in a positive light and shaping a positive perception of its citizens.
“NTDC’s Tour Nigeria project is focused on domestic tourism. Tourism is the largest employer of labour in the world, even more than the oil industry. Tourism, because the activities in the value chain which includes hotels, restaurants, strategically employs women and youths. It employs 292 million people globally and generates $7.8 trillion. In our economy, it contributes 1.8 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), so the possibility for growth is glaring. It is just for us to harness our resources to engender growth,” he noted.
On strategically promoting historical and cultural intra-continental synergy between South Africa and Nigeria, Coker said that collaboration would keep the African spirit alive.
In his words: “Tourism is a hospitality business that is losing its relevance because many people see it from the cultural angle. The collaboration between South Africa and Nigeria goes beyond bringing people from different part of the continent but also would arouse the black consciousness again. This synergy would open better opportunities to entrepreneurs and allow co-creation that makes us Africans.”
Managing Director of Kaya FM, Greg Maloka said that the project would build the foundation for a better future.
“Africans are longing to know their vanguard better. This collaboration would create an intrusive country and craft a new future for the continent,” he added.
Maloka said that although South Africa is still battling with the challenges of racial discrimination and low level of tolerance, they have come to learn the spirit of confidence from Nigerians in diaspora.
“South Africa has for a long time isolated itself because its democracy had been compromised with political agenda. This has brought about low confidence that we exhibit when we see that people from other countries are thriving in South Africa,” he added.
Maloka urged Africans to fight not for their geographical space alone but also connect to by heart to get the true definition of Africa beyond colonial distress.
“Our visit is to understand Nigeria beyond media reportage. We would modify people’s perception and inform them through Kaya FM that Nigeria is not a jungle where you dodge bullets,” he emphasised.
On the purpose for the synergy, Maloka added that it would foster growth and development to both countries.
Kaya FM 95.5 is a private commercial biggest radio station that broadcasts from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa with over 600,000 thousand listeners per average day.
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