Mr Folorunsho Coker, the Director-General of Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), says the new bill of the corporation will generate more revenue and develop tourism assets in the country.
Coker told journalists in Abuja on Monday that the new NTDC bill had passed through the National Assembly and was waiting for the assent of the president.
According to him, the need to repeal the law governing the corporation became necessary as the law has existed for over 40 years and needs an amendment to give it legal framework to achieve its new objectives.
“ I believe that with the new legal framework more funds will come to Nigeria, especially as we have been talking about the potential of tourism in Nigeria.
“ Now, the legal framework encapsulates global best practices. Something that was enacted in 2018, so, you know that it is valid for at least 10 years before we may need to amend it.’’
Coker said that the new law would generate more revenue through alliance with operators in the private sector, standardisation of hotels and a development levy in the tourism sector.
“ So, apart from our allocations from the Federal Government, we now have income streams through alliances with private sector entities and state government in terms of standardisation.
“We now have a tourism development levy that now goes into tourism development funds.’’
Coker said that the bill also proposed a change of name and status of NTDC to Nigeria Tourism
Development Authority (NTDA) to improve business relationship with the private sector and develop tourism assets.
“ It also allows us to interact better with private sector entities in Public-Private Partnership (PPP) structures where we must approximate the operations of the private sector entity for those things to work.
“You know that PPP is the new magic phrase and the way forward; government alone cannot do everything, but in partnership between the private sector and the public sector, we can move along.
“NTDC can do an international expression of interest and because the legal framework is now there, anybody can see the potential, see that the rules of engagement are clear and come in and invest,’’ he said.
Coker said that the bill would also address the challenges of standardisation of hotels in line with global league of hotels that have international accreditation and standard.
“Standardisation in so many spheres guarantees value for money. This has been accredited to be the standard, therefore, I expect that this standard is valued for money for me.
“Now, it is not by enforcement that NTDA says every state must accredit its hotels, it is by alliance. We come together and we agree that you want to accredit your hotel, we help you with the accreditation process.’’
The director-general said that the bill also captured convention and visitors’ bureau to support the tourism industry and its stakeholders to market Nigeria as a viable destination and improve standard of event centres.
Coker said that the national travel bureau, which existed in the previous law, would assist and run tour operations in accessing some of the assets they might not have access to.
He pledged the corporation’s commitment to creating a thriving environment for the growth and development of tourism to generate more revenue, employment and showcase Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.