ABUJA, Nigeria (eTN) – The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria [FTAN] has signaled its intention to reclaim it place in the development and marketing of the Nigeria tourism industry, as it finally held its Annual General Meeting [AGM] where a new executive council emerged through a representational process that has been declared as the most transparent and epoch making in the annals of the federation.

The chairman of council of the Hotel and Personnel Service Employers Association (HOPESA), Mr. Samuel Alabi, emerged as the new president of the federation, the umbrella body of all the private sector trade associations operating in the country.

The AGM, which was held at NANET Suites in Abuja, has brought a new verve and vision to the body, which for so many months has been undergoing restructuring following the dissolution of the former council led by Edem Duke for it ineffectiveness and inability to conduct AGM throughout its two years tenure.

Ladi Jemi – Alade led restructuring committee was mandated to re-engineer the federation and organize AGM forum for the body, which since its inception over 12 years ago has been struggling to make its impact felt in the country due to its weak structures and failures of it federating associations to live up to their responsibility among others.

At the Abuja AGM attended by over 12 registered tourism associations, associate members, members of the board of trustees and government officials – Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation [NTDC], National Institute for Tourism and Hospitality (NIHOTOUR) and Kwara State tourism ministry, the body resolved to chart a new course and to ensure that the new momentum created by the committee would be built on to make the body a virile and developmental federation.

The committee was commended for being able to drive the process and to ensure that various associations for the first time in the history of the tourism body paid up their membership fees and pay to attend the AGM, which was rancor free and held in an atmosphere of conviviality and with all the seriousness that it deserved.

The new executive council was constituted on representational basis with each registered association having two representatives with no council member voted for on their personal recognition, but rather on the strength of their associations, which would be held liable for the success or otherwise of the council. The rationale for this was to stem the growing tide in the federation where it council members were elected on their personal recognition without recourse to the association therefore making them ineffective and non – accountable to the federation.

To serve along with president Alabi on the council is a deputy national president, Mr. Tomi Akingbognu who is also the president of the Hotels Owners Forum of Abuja (HOFA). Others are Engr. Onofiok Ekong – treasurer, Dr. Mrs. Marian Alabi a senior lecturer – financial secretary, Hon. Mumini Mapindi, vice president North East, Andy Ehanire, vice president South South, Chief Charles Okoroafor, vice president South East, Adedipe Chris, vice president South West and Ini Akpabio, vice president, Federal Capital Territory [FCT], Abuja.

Also elected are, Mohammed Haruna, vice president North West, Samson Aturu, vice president, North Central, Shola Ilupeju, membership secretary, Habiba Idris Sulieman, Legal Adviser while the corporate affair position is to be held by any of the two representatives of the Association of Travel Writer of Nigeria [ANJET] currently being occupied by Lucky Onoriode George temporarily.

In his acceptance speech, the newly elected president sues for unity and collaboration for a new beginning and era of purposeful leadership for FTAN.