ABUJA _ Director Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â General (DG), ofÂ Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC),Â Otunba
Olusegun Runsewe,Â has said the agency will be present at the South Africa 2010 World Cup to promote the image of Nigeria.
Runsewe stated this recently, while answering questions from journalists in Abuja, said the slated South Africa World cup is an opportunity for the nation to sell it image to the world.
According to him, â€œNigeriaâ€™s music, dance and our strength of hospitality will be shown to the whole world. We are not going to Durban we are going to Johannesburg and I want to make this very clear ours is to promote Nigeria in totality , that is why we call it the Nigeria village.
What we are doing is to sell our country positively to the whole world and let them know what we have to offer.Â This time Nigeria is coming out to make a statement, a very good one and a powerful one .”
According to him, 2010 World Cup being an Africa affair, Nigeria should not be left out of the festive occasion hence NTDC has decided to use the opportunity to promote Nigeria as a destination of choice for both business and leisure.
The plan, he said is to make a lasting impact and impression on the minds of the thousands of people expected to attend the world football event even after the football campaign has long ended.
â€˜Our outing is going to be running long after the world cup event has ended, we are building a product that would be remembered after the world cup is gone,â€ he said of the project, which has received even the approval of South African Tourism Authority.Â To ensure that the project flies, NTDC, he revealed, is working in conjunction with â€˜Match Companyâ€™, a South Africa based firm while â€˜Primetime Entertainment,â€™ a Nigeria firm is charged with the marketing and promotion of the project.
Speaking on the details of the project, Runsewe who said the building would be entirely Nigerian both in concept and finishing, explained that it would reflect Nigeria traditional architectural ambience by employing elements that are entirely indigenous so as to reflect the Nigerian culture and characters.
According to him, the village, which is being constructed in Johannesburg, would serve as a melting pot for Nigerians. In this wise, the building would entail different meeting rooms and sessions that would be used for different functions, such as a media centre and medical centre among others.
Runsewe further impressed on the people that the village would be devoted to the promotion of Nigeria in South Africa with the hope that visitors to the country during and after the world cup would encounter a new Nigeria that is different from the one that they have heard of or encountered in the past.
He said that Nigeria art and crafts, fashion, cuisine, drinks and other traditional products that encapsulate the totality of Nigeriaâ€™s cultural tourism industry would be on display. Specifically, Runsewe informed that one of the pivotal attractions of the village would be the Nigerian cuisine ranging from the traditional to the modern.
To achieve this, he revealed that two major Nigerian restaurants operating in Europe and one in South Africa have been contracted to take charge of the restaurant. The reason for this, he said is because they want the restaurant, which should among others serve as an inviting pull for people to the village to be professionally managed in the finesse culture of global dining even though the food that would be served and the ambience of the restaurant are Nigerian. â€˜We want other nationals to have a feel and taste of Nigerian food,â€ he added.
â€˜What we are doing is to sell our country to the whole world and for them to know what we have to offer,â€ he said even as he emphasised that â€˜Nigeria is coming out to make a statement, a very huge and big statement for that matter that we are a serious destination with vast and rich treasures that any tourist should be excited about.â€