NIGERIAN Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) has thrown its weight behind the move of the management of Yaba College of Technology, Lagos to establish a Tourism Village in Epe, Lagos State.
Director General of NTDC, Chief Dr (Mrs) Sally Mbanefo, while addressing the 5-man delegation from the foremost college of technology in Nigeria commended the initiative of the institution to establish a tourism village, which according to her, will enhance better and practical understanding of the course in the institution.
"This is a good development in the educational sector. We need to accord good attention to the study of tourism, not only in tertiary institutions, but right from the primary schools.
"To ensure true and rapid development and promotion of tourism in Nigeria, with domestic tourism as a catalyst, we must consciously infuse tourism interest in the minds of young ones, right from their primary school days.
"We will intensify efforts at incorporating tourism in the academic curriculum in Nigeria. We will achieve this in collaboration with the Ministry of Education," Dr Mbanefo disclosed.
The NTDC boss who stressed the need to educate young ones in Nigeria on tourism, culture and tradition revealed that domestic tourism development and promotion are keys to a sustainable wealth and job creation, integration of culture and encouragement of unity in Nigeria.
"I am passionately promoting domestic tourism to empower local government at the grassroots level, create jobs at local governments, reduce urban migration, encourage integration of culture within Nigeria and to encourage unity," Dr Mbanefo added.
She charged the management of the institution to ensure that practical is given high priority over theory during the course of study of the students.
Hon. Philip Olabode Aivoji, member of the Governing Council of the institution, who led the 5-man delegation earlier in his speech commended the efforts and activities of the NTDC boss, which according to him, are geared towards true and lasting development of tourism in Nigeria.
Hon Aivoji said: "We believe in Dr Mbanefo's domestic tourism initiative as a viable catalyst to national development, creation of wealth and job, especially at the grassroot levels, and we have been busy instilling it into our students. Studying tourism guarantees self-reliance. This is because you can stand on your own, becoming a tour guide, for instance."
The Head of Department of Leisure and Tourism Department of the institution, Mr Okunlola Gabriel, who corroborated Hon Aivohi's submission disclosed that the school management wanted to expand the department and move it to the permanent site in Epe, Lagos State.
Department of Leisure and Tourism of Yaba College of Technology according to the HOD was created in 2007.
"We plan to promote Nigeria's local dishes, hence we made it part of our curricular," Okunlola said.
Ensuring timely actualisation of the establishment of the Tourism Village, Dr Mbanefo set up a planning committee, which comprise of directors, deputy directors and members of the delegation from the institution.