BY ITAM OFFOR
The Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly Rt Hon. Eteng Jonah Williams has restated the State’s commitment to tourism development despite the challenges facing the industry which led to the cancellation of the 2020 Calabar Carnival.
Williams, who said this when he hosted Members of the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria during a courtesy call, lamented that Cross River State suffered huge losses during the #EndSars protest that was hijacked by hoodlums adding that the COVID 19 pandemic also greatly affected the Tourism Industry not just as a State but globally.
He however, disclosed that he recently held meetings with some Stakeholders in the Tourism sector including the State Commissioner for tourism vith a view to working out modalities to resume the Calabar Carnival.
Earlier, the National President of the Association, Alhaji Saleh Rabo represented by the First National Deputy Chairman, Pastor Nkereuwen Onung expressed empathy with the State over the huge losses suffered during the #Endsars protest and stated his Association’s readiness to partner the State to reactivate tourism industry.
Onung commended the State Government’s industrialization drive and emphasised that tourism will give Industrialization a major boast capable of yeilding huge dividends.
He appealed that the State should resume the Carnival Calabar while appreciating the Speaker for granting the Association audience despite his busy schedule.
Present at the event were the Member representing Boki 1, Rt. Hon. Itam Abang, the Association’s Second National Deputy President, Alhaji Badaki Aliu, Amb. Ikechi Uko, FTAN BOT Member, Igwe Patrick Anyanwu, President NHA, Chief Tarzan Balogun, President , Association of Tourist Boat Operators and Water Transporters of Nigeria (ATBOWATON), Mrs Susan Akporiaye, President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agents (NANTA), Olumuyiwa Omololu, President, Association of Nigerian Journalists & Writers of Tourism) (ANJET), Otunba Olumoko Ayo, Vice President South West, NANTA as well as other Stakeholders in the Tourism Industry.