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31st January, 2018.

FTAN marks 20th anniversary, honours members

The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) will mark the 20th anniversary of the creation of the association by the Federal Government.

As part of the activities to mark the anniversary, FTAN will be honouring some individuals that have contributed to the growth and development of the federation. The event is expected to hold on February 27.

Tourism was under the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and the then Minister of Commerce and Industry, Rear Admiral Sunday Areola decided to set up a committee to look into the formation of an umbrella body for tourism in the country. A committee was headed by Mrs. Theresa Ezeobi and Mr. Jemi Alade was the secretary.

Mr. Jemi Alade spoke on why FTAN was formed: "There were so many associations. Everybody was approaching the government for one thing or the other. The minister saw the need for these tourism activities to be co-ordinated and to bring the practitioners together under one umbrella to approach government with one voice instead different tourism associations all approaching government at the same time.

"The committee sat and worked with interested parties and agreed on having a federation. This inaugural meeting was held in Abuja at the office of the then permanent secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Tukur Mani. Tukur Mani was the engine room. He had so much passion for tourism and was the one pushing the government to put the industry in other. About ten associations, I think, were among the initial members. They include: National Association of Travel Agencies (NANTA), Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), Nigerian Hoteliers Association (NHA), Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET), Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN), National Association of Tourism Boat Operators and Water Transporters (NATBOWAT) and few others."

It was after the committee completed its work and submitted to Alhaji Tukur Mani who was the permanent secretary Ministry Commerce and Industry that FTAN was created.

Speaking also on the creation of the association, veteran travel writer and columnist, Mr. Frank Meke went down memory lane to narrate how FTAN came into existence. He said: "FTAN was created about 20 years ago due to serve as formidable body to represent the different private sector tourism associations. The industry was growing and there was a need to form an all embracing federation that would cater for members and interface with the federal government.

"Among those present at the inaugural meeting were Mrs. Theresa Ezeobi, Mr. Tarzan Balogun, Mr. Jemi Alade, Prince Ayo Oresajo, Mr. Keshinro, Dr. Frank Adejuwon myself and some others. The meeting that gave birth to the association was held at Alhaji Tukur Mani office. Mrs. Theresa Ezeobi became the interim president while Mr. Jemi Alade was the secretary."

Current FTAN President Alhaji Karim Saleh Rabo, while speaking on the 20th anniversary, said it very important for the federation to mark the milestone.

He said the association was very mindful of the role the individuals to be honoured played in the association and it was just proper that they should be recognized at this auspicious occasion. He said those that would be honoured during the anniversary celebration were just the first set, that FTAN intends equally honour others who have contributed later in the year.

The award is in three categories. Among those to be honoured in the "A" category are: Rear Admiral Isaac Sunday Areola, Alhaji Tukur Mani, Mrs. Theresa Ezeobi, Dr. Franklin Adejunwon, Mr. Goodie Minabo Ibru, Mr. Charles Abel, Chief Mike Amachree, Alhaji Wada Yinusa, Chief Tarzan Balogun, Chief Frank Nneji, Mr. Ogbeni Tope-Awe, Mr. Jemi Alade, Alhaji Munzali Dantata, Otunba Segun Runsewe, Chief Samuel Alabi, Chief Tomi Akingbogun, Mr. Ikechi Ukoh, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Mr. Charles Ukomadu

Category "B" award recipients are "corporate friends" of FTAN. They include: Eko Hotel and Suites, Sheraton Hotel, Hotel Rosebud, Nanet Suites.

The "C" category of awardees are the post humus awards for service to FTAN. Receipeints include: the late Mr. Matts Ebaboje DaSilva, the late Dr. Kingsley Onuoha, the late Apagun Oluwole Olumide, and the late Madam Grace Bentu.

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