Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, NTDC, Dr. Folarin Folorunsho Coker, has assured that Tour Nigeria, the corporation’s tourism brand, will leverage on local events, national holidays and other symbolisms to unleash the Nigerian tourism potential.
Coker made this disclosure at the Delphino Picnic with the Theme, Spreading Happiness, held at the weekend at the Julius Berger Shooting Range, Kado, Abuja.
The picnic was put together by Delphino, an entertainment outfit managed by its Chief executive Officer, Emmanuel Onoja, in collaboration with the NTDC; and it holds biennially.
The widely advertised Sunday rendezvous had music DJs dishing out high percussive and latest Nigerian songs. There were also food vendors in many varieties providing refreshments.
“It is just our own way of showing that there are so many things to enjoy in Abuja, hence the theme of the picnic, ‘Spreading Happiness’,” stated Onoja Adele.
Explaining the essence of the event to the media, Coker said that the event sets a template on how NTDC intends to partner with private sector to unleash the tourism potential in the country. “This is a simple template; and it is not a difficult thing to achieve. It is about bringing different assets together; that is music, light, stage, event planners, the entire ensemble; we bringing them all together,” he said.
Coker further explained that the event is like having a wedding or any of those social ceremonies. “Only, this one is in a larger scale. And this not what only NTDC can do. Every state can do it. Everybody can connect to these new values that we have in terms of our cultural heritage.
“There are national assets in terms of sports, religion, film food, all of them; all those things that we already have. There is no difference between this and large weddings.
The difference here is that a wedding could be large, but you don’t pay for the food.
“But things are tough now; so, let’s look at different ways of doing this. We can set this up and have people pay to come in, eat and have a good time. It is cheaper than you going to Dubai,” Cocker said.
The NTDC boss further explained why it partnered Delphino in the enterprise, saying, “This is actually an annual event that has happened in Abuja before. This is not the first time.
“We just partnered with them so that they can have it better planned and better execute the event. This is something that could happen when you have a good weather. We don’t have any asset like this at the NTDC.”
He said,“But we have the expertise. If there is anybody in the private sector that wants to partner with us to deliver this sort of thing where the product of the private sector entity is being consumed, we are all for it.
For instance, a brewery may partner with NTDC. We can do this while they are drinking the company’s product.”