DIRECTOR-GENERAL of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs Sally Uwechue – Mbanefo, has described the reports of foreign media as unfair to Nigeria’s image, saying that foreign media are fond of reporting only negative stories about Nigeria while ignoring the positive ones.
This, according to her, has negatively affected the image of the country, as it painted the country black and portrayed it as a no-go area.
Mbanefo said this while reacting to the comment of the Switzerland Ambassador to Nigeria, Eric Mayorac, who said that Nigeria had image deficit and, thereby, needed to do more with regards to the security situation in the country and improve on her image. This was during a courtesy of the NTDC boss and her management team to the Switzerland Ambassador, recently.
The NTDC boss emphasised that an area in the North Eastern part of the country with security challenges is so minute compare to the size of the country, adding that the present administration, within a year, had been able to drastically reduce the activities of insurgents in the area.
“Foreign media project their different countries as places devoid of security and natural challenges, but portray Nigeria as an insecure place. They should endeavor to balance their reports on Nigeria with the good things that happen in Nigeria. Nigeria is safe. And whatever challenge Nigeria is facing is not peculiar to her, they are common to other countries in the world, including the advanced countries,” Mbanefo said.
The NTDC boss then charged the Nigerian media to embark on aggressive developmental journalism, whereby good things happening in the country are given better reportage than challenges that are facing the country.
This, she said, would help improve the image of the country abroad, and encourage foreign tourists and investors into the country.
The purpose of the courtesy visit, according to Mbanefo, was to familiarise the corporation and collaborate with the Switzerland embassy, to learn and emulate the best practices of Switzerland tourism, adding that Nigeria had so much to offer. She urged Switzerland to consider investing in Nigeria, especially in her tourism industry.
Mayorac, who lauded the scope of activities of NTDC under the leadership of Mrs. Mbanefo, described tourism as a priority for Switzerland, while describing Nigeria as a rich tourism nation, and a good nation, with highly hospitable people.