NANTA becomes Kano Durbar frontliner — Emir of Kano

• Tribune Tourism Editor, Wale Olapade, Runsewe, Ganduje, Ado-Bayero, Femi Adesina win NANTA Eminent Persons Awards

The Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado-Bayero, has designated the National Associations of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) to henceforth be the frontline association for the Kano Durbar.

The Emir disclosed this at the NANTA Eminent Persons Awards held at Abuja International Conference Centre, recently.

Ado-Bayero was conferred with the NANTA best traditional ruler in Nigeria award and Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State received the NANTA Best Governor of the Year award along with other awardees.

The traditional ruler said that NANTA, being the Kano Durbar frontline promoter, had been saddled with the responsibility of marketing the tourism product for domestic and international patronage.

He said that the promotion of Kano Durbar, which was known as Nigeria’s most spectacular and the largest procession of colourful horses, remains the vision of Kano Emirate for the next five years.

He noted that a formidable travel and tourism eco-system has been built in the state to woo investors and tourists.

“I am most delighted by the honour bestowed on us as recipients of the awards; we will try to accommodate every Nigerian who wishes to live peacefully within our domain.

“We appreciate NANTA for its contributions to the development of our tourism agenda and we hereby pronounce you the Kano Durbar frontliner. You are assured of our support.

“Our vision as Kano Emirate for the next five years is to create a travel and tourism ecosystem with over 5,000 domestic tourists visiting us as a state, frequently,” he said.

Earlier, Governor Ganduje, after receiving his award, appreciated NANTA for its contributions towards advancing the tourism and travel industries.

He said that Kano State has become a mega city with some modern infrastructures in place, deliberately done to woo tourists and investors to the state.

“This award is not for me but for the people of Kano state because without their cooperation, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity of providing an enabling environment for tourism businesses to thrive in the state. So I thank NANTA for this.

“Kano State is the most populous state in the federation, the commercial nerve center of the northern part of the country.

“Even though it is the most populous state, it is the most peaceful and the most important variable for tourism is peace.

“The state has been transformed to a metropolitan city with some infrastructural development in place. It is a mega city now and a place to be for tourists and investors,” he said.

In her remarks, the NANTA National President, Mrs Susan Akporiaye explained that governor Ganduje had created an enabling environment for  economic growth of cultural tourism in Kano through the provision of infrastructure and security, which drive destination visits and investments.

She said the governor has also transformed the facilities at Kano International Airport.

According to her, this will make Kano airport attractive to international carriers and further boost trade and tourism services in the ancient city, adding that the governor deserved such an award.

Also, the National President, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Mr Nkereweun Onung, urged all the awardees to use the opportunity given to them to advance the course of travel and tourism Industries in Nigeria.

The Conservator of Park, Okomu National park, Capt. Teslim Adeniyi got the Best Conservator of Park; The Envoy Hotel emerged the most outstanding hotel and British Airways got the Best Foreign Airline.

The National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) won the best IATA training government institute; South Africa Tourism got the best Intra African Tourism Agency and Alhaji Ado Yahuza, Executive Secretary, National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO), bagged Exemplary Public Administrator.

The Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) emerged the Champion of Drug Free Nigeria; the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) got the best in promotion and development of Nigeria’s culture, arts and crafts while Abel Orukpe got the overall Best Travel Journalist.

The NANTA Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to the trio of: Mr Akintunde Akala, Mr Femi Adefope and Mrs Modupe Lawale while Mr Femi Adesina, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, was inducted into NANTA Media Hall of Fame alongside, Tribune Tourism Editor, Wale Olapade, Frank Meke of the Sun, Chinedu Eze of ThisDay, Wole Shadare and Andrew Okungbowa of New Telegraph.

Other are Nosa Aituamen of Radio Nigeria,  Taiye Olayemi of News Agency of Nigeria, Franklin Ihejirika of Nigerian Frank News, Ifeoma Okeke of Business Day, Justina Okpanku of Justtours, Abel  Orukpe of Abel News and Dr Wole Oyebade of The Guardian.

For the category of the media awards, the Best Online Mediums (joint winners) went to the Abel News, Nigerian Frank News, Taiye Olayemi of News Agency of Nigeria and Aviation Metric (Wole Shadere).

Awardees for the Best Radio Stations (Travel News joint winners) were Aviation Runway (Metro Fm) and Tourism in Perspective (Jordan Radio).

In the print category, the joint winners include Wale Olapade of Nigerian Tribune (Travelpulse&Mice), Chinedu Eze (Thisday), Segun Kioki (Leadership), Nigerian Telegraph newspaper (Andrew okungbowa) while the over all winner for media was Abel News.

However, the preparations for the induction of honorary members of the media into NANTA Media Hall of Fame has been slated to take place in Lagos on a date to be announced soon, said the National President, NANTA, Mrs Akporiaye.

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