The Prime Minister of Sao TomeÂ Â and Principe, Dr Joaquim Rafael Branco has requested for the expertise of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation in the development of its nascent tourism industry.
Dr Rafael Branco who made the request while exchanging views with the Director-General of NTDC, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe in Abuja has therefore invited NTDC to his country for this purpose.
According to the Prime Minister, Nigeria is a big brother whose experience is vast in not only petroleum industry but in all fields including tourism adding, â€œI want Sao Tome and Nigeria to collaborate in all fields and sectors for the benefit of our people.”
Dr Rafael Branco said the relationship between Nigeria and Sao Tome is that of a special spirit which is rare in Africa citing the Joint Development Zone Commission as an example of such spirit.
Responding, the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe said NTDC would collaborate with the Sao Tome government.Â He accepted the invitation by the Prime Minister of to visit the small island country to cement the relationship reached in the course of the visit.
He promised that NTDC would bring its tourism expertise to bear in Sao Tome and Principe.
The NTDC boss affirmed that by 2010, there would be tourism explosion in Nigeria, because according to him, â€œTourism must take its rightful place in Africa.â€
Otunba Runsewe further stressed: â€œIâ€™m sure our friendship would mark a new beginning of collaboration.”
He explained that if tourism accounts for 6% of the global economic strength, how much benefit comes to Africa? he asked.
Sao Tome and Principe and Nigeria already have a Joint Development Zone Authority that manages the resources of both nations at the exclusion zones.
The visit of the Sao Tomean Prime Minister is historic because this was the first time such a highly placed top government functionary of a country would visit a Tourism parastatal which goes to show their interest in developing their tourism base having seen NTDC as a model.
The high power Sao Tome delegation was ushered into the NTDC Tourism village with pomp and pageantry in what could be described as a mini cultural carnival.
They were also properly entertained by various drama groups depicting the cultural diversity of Nigeria to the admiration of the August visitors.
The Foreign Affairs Minister of Sao Tome and Principe , Dr Carlos Tiny, his counterparts in Agriculture, Rural and Fishing Ministry as well as the Director Multilateral Cooperation of Sao Tome and Principe accompanied the prime Minister on the visit.