By Jimoh BABATUNDE
The non-implementation of the National Tourism Master Plan in the country after two years of its launching should be put at the door steps of the steps of the civil servants in the Federal Ministry of Tourism & Culture.
, Chief Olusegun Runsewe with the student tourists from the University of Hong Kong, during their tour of Nigerian Tourism Destinations “]This was the position of the chairman of the National Tourism Master Plan committee, Dr. Franklin Adejuwon, in an exclusive chat with Vanguard during the week in Lagos.
Just as he said the Ministry officials should explain to stakeholders in the tourism sector what they have been doing with the large sum of money appropriated for the implementation of the National Tourism Master Plan in the last few years.
â€œA tourism master plan is an excellent blueprint and the way forward for tourism industry,â€
Dr. Adejuwon said he is surprised that since the launching of the implementation committee by one time Minister in the ministry, Mr. Adetokunbo Kayode, that nothing had been heard about the implementation of the master plan put in place by the government with active supports from World Tourism Organisation UNWTO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
He said at a time, Nigeria seems to be the main focus of these international organisations and was being built as the flagship of the tourism development in Africa, â€œregardless of the fact that the country is not as developed as South Africa, Kenya and others that were ahead of us in tourism.
â€œBut, UNWTO still found out that without supporting the industry in Nigeria that Africa will not still achieve its market share in the world of tourism, because of our population and potentials which are far more than other African countries.â€
Dr. Adejuwon noted that since the exit of the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who is the architect of the Master plan, that the Ministry officials have been playing games with the implementation, putting the blame at the door step of the ministry officials who he said are mischievous.
â€œThere are officials in the department of tourism in the ministry, who have been feeding each Minister after Adetokunbo Kayode lies that nothing has been done in respect of the Master Plan and same officials have done the same to the present minister.â€
Dr. Adejuwon said the ministers could be forgiven for not acting properly on the Master plan in the last two years, because those who are supposed to provide them the necessary information are not doing so.
â€œTheÂ National Tourism Master Plan is a national project produced for the country by international organisations like they did for countries like Ghana and Kenya that have now seen results from their implementation of the plans.â€
He explained that when ours was completed, the UNWTO outlined how to implement the project as well as gave undertakings to continue to support the nation in its implementation by sending in experts on each cardinal area.
â€œ I can say that all these good will have been blocked by whatever reason the ministry may have and thereby leading to question about our seriousness on tourism development.â€
Dr. Adejuwon said he is wondering the type of officials that are in the department of tourism in the ministry, he said in a serious clime most them will not be there.