BY JUSTINA OKPANKU
The Federation of Tourism Associations in Nigeria (FTAN) has announced that they will honour the Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe who apparently has been building bridges as well as promoting peace, unity, love and understanding in the art and tourism communities.
The first-of-its-kind award will be taking place at Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos today (Friday, September 24, 2021).
Runsewe, a former tourism chieftain at the helm of affairs of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), is said to have a passion for the tourism industry and a strong working relationship with tourism operators in the country even as the incumbent nation’s culture chief.
The President of FTAN, which is the umbrella association of the private sector tourism, comprising of travel agencies, tour operators, boat operators, hotels and restaurants as well as other tourism reliant organizations, Mr. Nkereuwem Onung, told journalists in a chat recently that “the awards are part of what we will be doing to make the travel and tourism sector vibrant.” Onung told how the elated FTAN members received the news that an award will be bestowed to Runsewe in Abuja during the Inauguration of the FCT Council of FTAN last July.
According to him, the Nigeria Tourism Awards will be an annual recognition for major players who have made huge contributions to the growth of Tourism in Nigeria.
He recalled, laughingly, “At the FTAN AGM in Abuja on the 8th of July 2021 the Chairman FTAN Board of Trustees Chief Samuel Alabi had tasked the new leadership to recognise and honour Otunba Runsewe who he said had always identified with the Federation over the years. He honours all invitations from FTAN and participates in all FTAN programmes.”
Runsewe had hosted a Cocktail for the Federation members on the eve of their 2021 AGM. The FTAN award for Runsewe by tourism professionals in Nigeria is coming at a time the former Director-General of NTDC, where he served from 2006 till 2012, is having a wonderful time basking in recognition for his efforts in promoting culture and tourism. It was an honour when the Igbo-Ukwu community in Anambra State recently unveiled a statue of Runsewe for the Yam House he built for them during his tenure as DG of NTDC where he promoted the New Yam Festival as a national event. Last week, the Chinese community in Nigeria also honoured Runsewe with the ‘Man of the Year’ awards during their cultural Day celebrations in Nigeria.