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FG Devises New National Tourism Strategy

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The Federal Government, says that it has devised a new National Tourism Strategy to sustained tourism industry in the country.

President, Goodluck Jonathan stated this at the 53rd meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)/Commission for Africa (CAF), in Tinapa Business, Conference and Leisure Resort, Calabar.

“We have come up with a new national tourism strategy, which is embedded in the Nigerian Tourism Development Master Plan,’’ he said.

The theme of the meeting is: “Responsible Tourism: Opportunities for Women and Youths’’.

Jonathan, who was represented by Mr Edem Duke, Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, said that the master plan was developed from sundry country experience to meet international standard and best practises.

The president said that the meeting would provide veritable platform for his administration to showcase Nigerian rich, unique and diverse cultural and eco-tourism endowment.

“We do recognise the prime place of culture and tourism in our comprehensive effort to grow the Nigerian economy.

“This has informed the involvement of deliberate policies and programmes towards maximally harnessing, developing and promoting the tourism sub-sector of our national economy,’’ he said.

Jonathan said his administration would focus on providing enabling environment for the operation of efficient and effective public private sector.

“Nigeria offer a package of unique incentive for investment in this sector, including tax exemption, tax relief, export incentive, free land, 100 per cent ownership of business by foreign investors.

Others include easy working permit for foreign workers, wavers of import duties on hospitality equipment among others,’’ he said.

The president said that Nigeria would remain committed to the ideas of UNWATO and a willing partner in the implementation of African Union NEPAD Tourism Action Plan.

Earlier, Mr Edem Duke who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Anastasia Nwaobia, said that theme of the meeting was timely and relevant.

Duke said that the ministry had started the implementation of the Nigeria Tourism Development Master plan, which was the roadmap for the development and sustenance of the entire Nigeria tourism industry.

According to him, the ministry is working with relevant professionals and stakeholders in the industry to implement the policies and programmes contained in the master plan.

He said the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), reports that the tourism contributed 2.9 per cent of total employment and 3.3 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), in 2011.

“We hope to double this contribution in 2012,’’ he said.

He stressed the need of institutional synergy by stakeholders in the tourism sector particularly in the funding tourism projects and investments, especially Small Scale Tourism Enterprises.

Duke said that the meeting would provide an opportunity to evolve the best ways of mainstreaming the women and youths into the business of tourism.

In his speech, Gov. Liyel Imoke of Cross River, said that the conference was holding in Nigeria for the first time, and commended the ministry for choosing Cross River as host city for the meeting.

Imoke said that Cross River was the leading service driven economy in Nigeria.

He said that Cross River had been listed as one of the 25 bio-diversity hotspots in the world and host to more than 60 per cent of tropical rainforest in Nigeria.

Imoke said that tourism was a strong potential vehicle for significant economic growth and development of the state.

He said that government had invested significantly in the development of infrastructure that would aid the growth of the tourism industry in the state in particular and country at large.

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Niger Delta

Diri Charges Security Agencies On Intelligence Gathering

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Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has urged security agencies to invest more time and resources in intelligence gathering in their effort to overcome banditry, insurgency and other securty challenges confronting the country.
He made the call at a retirement party organized by the state government in honour of the outgoing state Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli, in Yenagoa.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor emphasized the need for security agencies to adopt a holistic approach that will encourage the active participation of civilians in their campaign against insecurity.
According to Senator Diri, until security is seen as everyone’s business in society, the use of kinetic approach to addressing security challenges will yield little or no meaningful result.
While calling on the police and other security outfits to be above board in the performance of their duties, he urged people of the state to always volunteer information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of criminals in the state.
“Security is everybody’s business, but more often than not it is seen as nobody’s responsibility. Sometimes we want somebody to do something about security, and nobody does anything about it, and at the end of the day security is not taken seriously.
“But somebody has to do something about security. We should all do something about security so that our state can be safe.I will like our security agencies to be more proactive and preemptive in carrying out their duties because it is cheaper to be preventive. They have to make more effort in the area of intelligence gathering from the civil populace”, he said.
Describing CP Mike Okoli as a refined product with an unblemished record throughout his service in the Nigeria Police, Governor Diri said society had a lot to learn from the wealth of experience of the retiring Commissioner of Police.
He acknowledged the sacrifices being made by security personnel, noting that some of them get killed or become paralyzed in the course of securing lives and property, and therefore, must be appreciated in society.
“We need to learn a lot from the experiences of CP Mike Okoli. He had good cooperation with his colleagues in the state. No wonder, Bayelsa State had a decline in crime during their service in this state. As a government, we are very grateful. We know what these people (security agents) pass through. As civilians, we sleep at the risk of their breath, spine and throat.
“When you are sleeping and a crime is being committed, the Commissioner of Police and other service commanders would rush out because there is something going on.We are praying for CP Mike Okoli that as you are going into your retirement… from the Nigerian Police, we thank God on your behalf for being who you are and who you are going to be”, he added.
Earlier in their separate goodwill messages, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diete-Spiff, and the Commandant of Police Staff College, Jos, Assistant Inspector General, Don Awunah, acknowledged CP Okoli’s contributions to the relative peace and security in the state.
They described him as an outstanding and accomplished officer with an unblemished track record in the Nigerian Police and wished him the best in his future endeavours.
Responding, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli, thanked Governor Douye Diri, and his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, for honouring him by hosting his retirement thanksgiving reception.
Okoli also thanked the service commanders and everyone who made out time to attend the event, especially the Commandant of Police Staff College, Jos, A.I.G Don Awunah, and prayed God to bless them.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Delta Commissioner Urges Students To Study Hard

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Commissioner for Secondary Education in Delta State, Mrs Rose Ezewu, has urged Nigerian students to always study hard to excel in their examinations to become productive adults.
Ezewu made the plea yesterday, while monitoring the ongoing third term promotion examinations in some schools across the state.
According to her, this is one way for students to broaden their minds, knowledge and become successful individuals, problem solvers, employers and wealth creators in the society.
The commissioner described teachers as critical stakeholders in the development of any society, especially in the area of building and shaping the orientation of children.
“Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration is committed to transforming the education sector by ensuring a conducive teaching and learning environment for students and teachers in the state.
“Teachers should reciprocate government’s huge investment in the education sector by being more committed to their duties,’’ she said.
Some of the schools monitored by the commissioner and her team included Okeme Secondary School, Okuokoko in Okpe Local Government Area and Ogbe Secondary School, Effurun.
Others are Alegbon Secondary School, Ekpan, both in Uvwie Local Government Area, and Edjeba College in Warri South Local Government Area.

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Niger Delta

Don Advocates Balance Between Demand, Supply Of Teachers

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Prof. Ebele Egwunyenga of the Delta State University, Abraka, yesterday advocated an equilibrium between the demand for and supply of teachers in the school system
Egwunyenga made the assertion in a paper she presented at the 7th Quadrennial 8th State Delegates Conference of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Delta State Chapter, in Asaba.
She said that adequate personnel is essential in the sustainability of Nigeria’s educational system.
According to her, adequacy is not limited to the number of personnel as it includes equitable distribution of teachers according to areas of specialisation.
“I recommend that government should ensure that there is equilibrium between teachers’ demand and supply in the school system.
“Government should improve on social amenities, particularly in rural areas. This will encourage teachers posted to the area.
“Government should provide modern technology for both teaching and learning. School facilities should be made attractive by government such that teachers would wish to be in school daily.”
Egwunyenga, who underscored the importance of education in nation building, said that education remained the vehicle for sustainable socio-economic development of any nation.

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