By Tony Okafor, Awka
A multinational telecommunications company, Globacom Limited, commonly known as Glo, has lauded the Federal Government for the creation of the Ministry of Tourism .
It also commended the rich Ofala cultural festival of the Onitsha kingdom.
The Globacom Retail Chief, South-East/ South-South office, Offor Augutus Ndu, stated this on Thursday at a press conference on the 2023 Ofala festival in Onitsha.
He said, “The recent creation of the Ministry of Tourism is an indication of Government’s recognition of the huge but untapped potentials of this attractive sector.
“When we promote the rich festivals that abound in Nigeria, the world will know about them and slot them into their calendars, thus leading to a large number of tourists who would be willing to come to witness these festivals.
“This will be booster for hotels, restaurants, tour guides, arts markets and several other sectors whose trade will be in demand by the visitors. Hundreds of thousands of jobs will also be created along the line.”
He said Globacom was deeply committed to preserving the rich cultural heritage of the country, adding that its support for the celebration of festivals was hugely driven by its belief in the enormous potentials of Ofala Festival and other important festivals in the country in boosting the potentials of the tourism industry as a top revenue earner for the people and for the country.
Ndu said,”In 2011, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to be the major sponsor of this yearly prestigious festival and we have always looked forward to working with the Palace and the Festival Planning Committee to ensure a better edition each year. We have kept the partnership glowing since then.
“Across the world and even on the African continent, tourism continues to be an industry growing exponentially and boosting the development of the growth of associated businesses like travel, hospitality and the service industry.
“The effect of the potential earnings from these visitors can propel the tourism industry to be a top revenue earner for the country in the nearest future.
“Nigeria is listed as 52nd on the list of top 55 tourism nations globally, based on 2020 data from the World Tourism Organization.
“Similarly, the Travel & Tourism market in Nigeria has been projected to grow by 6.13% between 2023 and 2027, resulting in a market volume of nearly US$4 billion in 2027.
“The future looks green and glowing for our dear country through tourism. With our array of cultures and festivals, we will be a destination of choice for countries if we continue to focus on promoting the best of our values for the world to see and appreciate.
“Nothing stops Nigeria from moving up to the Top 10 Tourism greats among the comity of nations within the next few years.
“Because of these potentials, Globacom will not waver from its commitment to support efforts to showcase our heritage to the world. In this regard, we assure His Royal Majesty, the Palace and the Festival Committee of the continued support of our Board and Management for the Ofala Festival.
“We will not relent until it becomes a reference point in the global tourism calendar, attracting visitors from every part of the world. This year again, Globacom will do all it can to ensure that the 2023 edition of the festival is epochal and memorable.”