The National President of the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, has expressed gratitude to President Ahmed Bola Tinubu for heeding the calls of the Nigerian tourism community for a stand-alone Tourism Ministry.

Citing the development as a very key and strategic move by the government to embrace tourism as a key driver of socio-economic growth in the country, he said the industry never had it this good for a stand-alone tourism not attached with any burden of responsibility except tourism and tourism alone.

Noting that government has really taken the bull by the horns in becoming the unifying and rallying point for all private sector operators in the sector to look up to for the provision of better policy directives and the provision of necessary infrastructure for Nigeria to be transformed into a compelling, highly competitive and preferred destination, he congratulated the newly appointed Minister of Tourism-designate, Ms. Lola Ade-John.

He, however, urged her to bring her vast and wealth of experience as an IT specialist and astute finance and resource manager to bear in running the ministry so that the country can fully tap and benefit from the enormous socio-economic potentials of the nation’s tourism resources.

He said that Nigeria is greatly endowed with huge tourism potentials waiting to be tapped, urging the minister to see her appointment as a clarion call to grow and develop the country’s tourism resources via the creative application of modern technology, which is capable of generating great revenue, creating job opportunities, fighting poverty and revamping the ailing national economy.

He stated that while private sector operators are the orchestra in their respective fields of callings, government remains the conductor providing the sense of vision, coordinating competitive marketing intelligence, the executional insights and the ability to bring members of the orchestra together to achieve the desired national goals that the tourism industry stands to offer.

Odusanwo stated that industry players and critical stakeholders in the sector look up to the minister to run the affairs of the ministry with that ‘orchestra-conductor’ relationship with the objective of re-positioning the ministry as a viable government body for purposeful leadership guidance and direction, functional policy formulations, and implementable high-tech solutions that will create the enabling environment for operators of the industry at both public and private sector levels to thrive.