By Taiye Baiyerohi
Lagos – The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to review the law which gave state governments the power to register and classify hotels.
Mrs Annette Ibe, the South-West Zonal Director, NTDC, made the plea in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
Ibe said that the existing law had hindered uniformity in the classification and registration of hotels.
“The law conferring the powers of classification and registration of hotels on state governments is obsolete and should be reviewed in order to improve the nation’s tourism industry.
“Furthermore, the law negates the United Nations World Tourism Organisation’s (UNWTO) dictates that the NTDC as the apex tourism agency should take up the function.
“The UNWTO is responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism and should be obeyed to the letter.
“Diverse hotel classification standards have been generated from different states and this act has retarded the growth of the nation’s tourism industry,’’ the NTDC boss said.
She urged the Federal Government to review the law and other laws to enable the corporation discharge its duties for remarkable improvement.
Ibe said that the NTDC must not be denied the opportunity of carrying out its duties.
She said that a single classification mode should be applicable for hotels all over the nation for uniformity to ensure qualitative services are rendered to tourists.
“We should be concerned about the image of the nation we project to the international communities,’’ the NTDC boss said.
Ibe urged the Federal Government to fund the corporation adequately to enable it embark on projects that would aid domestic tourism growth.
She said that the tourism industry was capable of creating millions of jobs for the citizens, if properly developed.
“Most of the brilliant ideas the corporation has to execute for proper growth of the tourism industry have not been carried out because of insufficient funds.
“Among our ideas is the food exhibition called “Flavour ‘’.
“ This exhibition is supposed to showcase the richness and value of Nigerian cuisines to attract local and international tourists.
“Most Nigerians are not aware of the full potential of tourism, which they can explore as personal businesses.
“Due to lack of sufficient funds, the corporation has been handicapped in creating more awareness on this,’’ Ibe said.
She said that the corporation had been creating awareness in schools on the importance of tourism and in areas students could harness and develop careers in.
The NTDC boss, however, said that the impact of the corporation (NTDC) should be felt more in the country, saying that this could only be possible if adequately funded.