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Stakeholders Seek Partnership To Grow Travel Industry

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It was a gathering of ‘who is who’ in the tourism and transport sectors in Abuja recently, as the Institute of Tourism Professionals (ITP) hosted the second edition of the National Tourism & Transport Summit and Expo. Held at the main hall of the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja, the two-day event created a platform for stakeholders to brainstorm on the potential and challenges facing the growth of both sectors.
Held under the theme, Tourism and Transportation Inter-dependencies for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development, which was dedicated to exploring in details the synergy between tourism and transportation and how best to reap the windfalls from them, got the backing of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, as well as Ministry of Information and Culture.
In his welcome remarks, the President of ITP, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, who was also the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the summit said the National Tourism and Transport Summit and Expo aims at bringing together all players in the tourism and transport industries so that issues hindering the growth of the two sectors can be tackled without sentiments.
“It is essentially meant to provide the platform to deliberate on the complex relationship between transport provision and tourism in boosting the nation’s economy. Furthermore, it is to offer a conducive avenue to experts and policy makers in conjunction with key players and operators in the industry to brainstorm on the interconnectedness between transportation and tourism, a connectivity brought by road, rail, maritime, and air transport services and chart the way forward for both sectors and extension, reposition them in the economic diversification drive of the President Mohammadu Buhari – led administration.”
Declaring the summit open, Secretary to the Federal Government, Boss Mustapha, who was represented by the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Abubakar commended the organisers for the initiative, which he said has the potential to galvanise the two sectors and related industries to boost the economy of the country.
Mustapha reiterated the commitment of the federal government to massive investment in building the country’s infrastructure and the pursuit of peace and security in order to achieve inclusive socio-economic development of the country.
He said for tourism to thrive, the country needs to be at peace, giving assurance of the federal government resolve to handle the various challenges confronting the country while suing for the support and cooperation of all Nigerians and businesses to move the country forward.
Meanwhile, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCTA), Alhaji Mohammed Musa Bello noted that the FCTA was proud to host the summit, which he said offered a platform to chart a better way for the two sectors while calling on all the participants to explore critical issues relating to bridging the gap between transport and tourism sectors.
Some of the keynote speakers at the event included the Ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, as well as Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who were all represented at the event.
At the end of the two-day summit, participants listed Policy summersaults, under utilisation of modern technology, dearth of data and inadequate human and institutional capacity as some of the factors responsible for the drawback in the two sectors. While noting that low-level participation and poor investment of the private sector are also slowing down growth in the sectors, they observed that poor infrastructure development and also lack of synergy between the two sectors, is not helping to spur sustainable growth and development.
Participants, therefore, called for steady government policies, stronger public private partnership to grow both sectors, noting that strong human and institutional capacity and use of modern technology to conduct tourism and transportation activities are key if Nigeria is to witness sustainable growth and development in the two sectors.

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Transport

Monarch Tasks RSG, NDDC On Chokota-Umuebulu Road

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The Onye Ishi Ala Chokota in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State, Eze I.S. Wekeh, has appealed to the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to add Chokota-Ikwerengwo-Umuebulu Road to their respective priority projects with a view to rehabilitating the road.

Eze Wekeh who made the appeal recently while speaking with newsmen urged the state government to come to the aid of the residents in the area, saying the area hosts several oil wells mined by Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC), therefore playing a key role in the revenue generation of the nation.

According to him, “during the time the present state government flagged-off the construction of Igbo-Rumuokwurusi Road, there was an assurance that Chokota-Ikwerengwo-Umuebulu Road will be rehabilitated, but we are still hopeful that the road is still dear to his heart, as we are still expecting result. I am also appealing to NDDC to come to the aid of the inhabitants of the area as well as the multinational corporation operating in the area”.

A resident in the area, Mrs Adaku Amadi, who spoke to The Tide, said “Things are very difficult here for us due to the bad road. Our mothers use to go to the farm with bicycle or motor cycle and they usually fall on the bad road. Some pregnant women will deliver without any medical treatment because of lack of access to medication due to bad road. So we are appealing to government to help us alleviate this suffering by rehabilitating the road”.

Another resident in the area, Mr Paul Wosu, said “my brother, we use to suffer here and we are expecting government to do something, even NDDC as an interventionist agency to come to our aid. Now you can drive in because everywhere is dry, but during the rainy season, you can not dare it, because the flood will drown you. We are still appealing for positive response from the relevant authorities”.

It would be recalled that the NDDC had sometime in 2006 promised to fix the road as part of their priority projects, but could not mobilise to site till date a result, the state government promised to rehabilitate the road.

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FRSC To Prosecute Users Of Unworthy Heavy Duty Trucks

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The Plateau State Sector Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it would impound and prosecute users of unworthy heavy duty trucks and articulated vehicles within Jos metropolis.

The command disclosed this in a statement signed by Route Commander Andrew Bala, its Public Education Officer, yesterday in Jos.

It expressed worry over the rampant and incessant crashes and breakdown of heavy duty trucks and articulated vehicles within the Jos metropolis.

“Crash investigation and analysis has shown that most of these crashes and breakdowns are as a result of brake failure and mechanical deficient vehicles.

“It is in this light that the command is admonishing all owners of heavy duty trucks, articulated and dysfunctional vehicles to carry out routine checks and repairs on their vehicles.

“Very soon, the command will carry out a special patrol to wipe out and prosecute offenders of unworthy vehicles within the Jos metropolis and environs that ply the highways,” the statement said.

The command advised motorists to keep enough distance from heavy duty trucks or articulated vehicles on the highway to allow for safe manoeuvering in case of any mishap.

It said that the task of ensuring safety on the highway is a shared responsibility.

It appealed to all road users to obey all traffic rules and regulations as anyone found wanting would be sanctioned accordingly.

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Flyover: Commissioner Calls For Patience Over Traffic Congestion

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Following the ongoing construction of Rumuokoro flyover by the construction giant, Julius Berger Plc, the Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Austin Ben Chioma, has urged motorists and road users to exercise patience and bear with the traffic situation as the construction of the flyover project progresses.

The Commissioner  made the appeal on Monday in a chat with newsmen while supervising the demolition of structures at the garrison flyover construction site in Port Harcourt

He noted the traffic problems associated with the construction of Rumuokoro flyover and assured that measures would be put in place to ensure free flow of traffic at Rumuokoro.

According to him, “The company has just started the flyover at Rumuokoro, Very soon, we will work out modalities to alleviate the flow of traffic at that area. I appeal that people, especially motorists should exercise patience pending when the project will be completed. It is for the good of the whole”.

The Tide reports that Julius Berger, had since last week, blocked one of the two lanes along Eliozu-Rumuokoro Road, leaving one lane to serve the motorists.

Meanwhile, The Tide gathered that some policemen and soldiers from Bori Camp were collecting N50 each from commercial drivers who run one way along Eliozu route.

Speaking to The Tide, a taxi driver who plies Rumuokoro-Eliozu route, John Jide, said, “soldiers from Bori Camp came on the road through their back gate to the road and started collecting N50 with the allegation that we were running against the lane (one way), when it has officially been approved that motorists should use one way pending when there will be alternative provision, as the flyover construction lasts”.

Another taxi driver who plies same route, Igwe Ajam, said “police and army are disturbing us on this route. They extort so much from us. You meet police check point, they will collect N50, you move further you see a gang of soldiers, you pay another N50, but private motors that are also running that same one way are allowed to go free.

“Their target is commercial taxi, we want government to look into this because we are not deliberately running one way if not for the approval of the authorities that be”.

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