Tuesday, December 27, 2016

NMMA award winner wants more private sector investment in tourism

Ms Yvonne Bassey, Executive Producer, Thru’ The Eyes Of An African (TTEOAA), who bagged two awards from Nigeria Media Merit Award this year, has urged more private sector investment in the tourism industry.

Bassey told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos that though there were private sector investments, the tourism industry had huge potential that had not been tapped.

The television presenter said that Nigerian tourism industry needed to be properly groomed to generate huge revenue and further create employment opportunities.

She said that government was considering tourism as a realistic alternative to oil now which could be if it is properly groomed and the right people involved.

“The tourism industry should be managed by the private sector because it is private sector-driven.

“It is the private sector that feels the pinch of loss and gains; it should be handled by people who have passion for it because it is an interactive and intimate sector,’’ Bassey said.

On her awards, the presenter said that for the first time she was not focused on it due to health challenges but gave God the glory for identifying her for excellence due to hardwork.

“The awards represent healing and strength for me as it came during my recovery process,’’ she said.

Bassey, who has become a reference point in the media promotion of travel and tourism in Africa through TV documentaries, emerged winner of two Nigeria Media Merit Awards (NMMA) 2016.

She clinched the award for Television Programme of the Year as well as for Television Reporter of the Year; bring the number of NMMA awards she has won to 10.

Bassey, who still suffers excruciating pains in her neck after a fatal accident on Sagamu road, seized the opportunity of this interview to appeal for the payment for a documentary she duly executed for the Cross River State Carnival Commission since 2013.

She said that the Calabar Carnival documentary was commissioned by the Chairman, Mr Gabriel Onah, who approved the project, adding that she executed it with her personal funds, but had not been paid.

“Mr Gabriel Onah requested that I should execute it with my personal funds, after which I would be reimbursed but I have just got a thank you for that.

“I lost my loyal and dedicated driver in this fatal accident on my way from Calabar to demand for the payment for my job which has not been paid.

“I humbly request for a prompt payment for the documentary I ran since 2013,’’ she said.