By Fideis Ebu
To ensure that Nigerians who will be part of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa in June do not lack in entertainment and food throughout the tournament, the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation has concluded plans to set up tourism villages in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa .
The NTDC Director-General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe said it was part of efforts by Nigeria to support the first ever World Cup on African soil.
Runsewe disclosed that the village is as a result of agreement reached with MATTH, a South African-based tourism organisation that arranges tours for tourists and is geared towards providing soccer loving Nigerians and other visitors all the necessary services during the World Cup.
The NTDC boss still regretting the inability of his corporation to showcase the rich cultural heritage of Nigeria during the recent Fifa Under-17 World Cup in the country, attributing it to the blockade from the cartel managing Nigeriaâ€™s football, said there would be three categories – Nigerian dishes and culture would be on display for visitors while other sundry services such as 24 hours transportation services and accommodation would also be made available to the tourists.
â€œThis is an African World Cup and it is our desire to give support to South Africa believing that if they do a good job, it would be to the glory of Africa. We also want to make a statement as the first African nation to rally support to South Africa and showcase African hospitality at its bestâ€.
He explained that the economic benefits of staging the World Cup is enough to boost the economy of the host by over 15 per cent and added that Nigeria would be eager to learn how the host are preparing for the World Cup as she gets set to bid for the worldâ€™s biggest soccer fiesta when the hosting right returns to Africa.
â€œA lot of people would like to come and see what South Africa has on offer; and we in Nigeria have to start early so that when the World Cup comes back to Africa, Nigeria would not have any difficulties.
A lot happens at such tournaments. We all know that football is played for 90 minutes but after that what do the spectators do? They relax and unwindâ€ he added.