Amachree Bags Father Of Tourism Award

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The Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) recently presented the Father of Tourism Award to the President of Brooklyn Tourist, Centre, Chief Mike Amachree.
Presenting the award at a brief ceremony in Abuja, the President of the highest tourism body in Nigeria, Alhaji Rabo Saleh said Chief Mike Amachree has laid a formidable landmark for the tourism sector of the country, adding that his achievement was affecting every state and region of the country.
According to him, the tourism mogul who had spent over 56 years in tourism practice in Nigeria had brought awareness and development in all the six geo-political zones of the country.
The FTAN President listed Chief Amachree’s achievements in the sector to include establishment of the Port Harcourt Tourist Beach and the establishment of the Brooklyn Group of Hotels in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Buguma City and Afam.
Alhaji Saleh also listed others as the establishment of Brooklyn Tourist Centre near the University of Port Harcourt which houses zoological garden, the museum of African history and culture, the exhibition of arts and crafts, as well as the establishment of Buguma Beach Resort.
The FTAN President was accompanied on the occasion by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, a prominent tourism investor, Alhaji Munzali Dantata, Madam Patricia Narai, Deputy Director Domestic Tourism Department of Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism as well as Senator Fatimah Raji Rasaki, Chairman, Senate Committee on Tourism, amongst others.
Responding, Chief Amachree urged both the government and the private sector to work in harmony to make Nigeria one of the best tourism destinations in the world, with a view to creating employment for the masses, generate foreign exchange earning for Nigeria and bring peace and unity to the country.
He stressed the need for the use of tourism to attract industrial development to Nigeria at large.
He expressed his profound gratitude to the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) under the astute leadership of Alhaji Rabo Saleh for the honour done to him.
He also thanked the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and all the Tourism Commissioners of the 36 States of Nigeria for their immense efforts in tourism development in the country.
It would be recalled that the elder statesman who was recently Awarded Distinguished Service Star of Rivers State (D. S. S. R. S) by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike had held several appointments in the past. They include Manager, Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited, Lagos, Director, Nigeria Tourism Board which is now Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation.
Chief Amachree represented Nigeria during the World Tourism Organisation and African Commission Conference in Accra, Ghana in 1992 as well as at the Young African Leaders Conference in San Francisco, USA in 1993 where he presented a paper.
Chief Amachree was also appointed member of the organising committee of Rives State Illumination and Cultural Festival tagged: RIVIFEST in 1995 and 1996 and member, tourism and culture committee vision 2010 under the General Sani Abacha administration
Others include, Organisation of the Plateau State Tourism Development Fund lunching where he single-handedly decorated Jos Air Port and Jos Township Stadium. Also, as the National President of Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria, he organised the First Abuja Cultural Carnival in 1990.
Similarly, in 1991, the former ATPN President encouraged artistes to sell crafts and souvenirs at the Late Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa’s Mausoleum in Bauchi in 1991.
Furthermore, he also discovered the Obete Waterfront Tourist site in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State and erected a reception hall for visitors at the tourist site, as well as encourage indigenes to establish fish ponds there.
Chief Amachree also advocated the use of Emir, of Kano’s palace as a tourist site which was approved by the Late Emir Ado Bayero in 1990. Also, under his distinguished leadership as the President of A.T.P.N., the father of Tourism of Nigeria led a delegation of tourism practitioners to President Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida to discuss the establishment of Tourism Development Bank in Nigeria in 1990, in which approval was given to Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but was not executed until President Babangida left office in 1993.
In 1993, he led the private sector to organise the second Rivers State Cultural Carnival tagged RIVCARN’93 where dignitaries from different parts of the country attended.
Similarly, Chief Amachree organised the First Peace Conference in the Niger Delta as the President of the Centre for the Promotion of Peace, Tourism, Arts and Culture (CEPTAC) in Port Harcourt in 2003, in which a copy was presented to the then President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo through General Ike Nwachukwu (rtd).
He initiated the rediscovery of the Slave Trade Route in the Niger Delta for tourism purposes with research findings in Arochukwu, Calabar, Ikot Abasi, Umuagbai, Ndoni, Opobo, Bonny, Elem-Kalabari, Buguma, Uguta, Ogbia, Nembe, Akassa, Opokuma, Amassoma, Bende, Uzuakoli, Warri, Ogwashi-Uku, Aboh and Koko in Delta State.
Chief Amachree as a promoter of tourism and culture gave out his hotel in Buguma City free of charge to visitors and tourists that attended the Buguma City Centenary cerebration in 1984.
In addition, Chief Amachree bagged several awards of excellence some of which are Award presentation by Prof. T. J. T. Princewill, King Amachree XI, the Amanyanabo of Kalabari Kingdom, for the promotion of Tourism and Cultural Heritage in Nigeria, 24th March, 2012.
Award presentation by the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) for his achievement in tourism promotion and development in Nigeria.
It was all these numerous achievements of Chief Amachree that convinced FTAN to honour him with “The Father of Tourism of Nigeria Award”.