The move by the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) to promote intra African travel and businesses in all spheres, taking a cue from Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), has been commended as a good initiative needed to further develop and grow African businesses and the continental in general.
This commendation was made by the Nigeria High Commissioner to South Africa, Ambassador Haruna Manta, when he hosted the members of the association, led by its President, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, to a dinner in Johannesburg. NANTA members were in South Africa for the inaugural International Travel and Tourism Conference (ITTC) spear headed by it in association with the Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), with South Africa Tourism as host of the two days conference, which held between May 4 and 7.
The two days conference held at the South Africa University Johannesburg, with faculty members of the university and other selected professionals in travel and related sectors as conference leaders in what was designed to expose the members to developing trends in travel business and forge unity among travel operators in the continent and encourage intra Africa travel and businesses.
Manta expressed his delight at the high profile intervention on joint African tourism prosperity by NANTA, noting that the association cannot be ignored in the quest to address tourism trade matters in Nigeria and Africa. He further disclosed that the determination of the travel agencies body to inspire change in Intra African tourism aligns with the dreams of most African people, stressing that what is needed to forge a united and prosperous Africa is partnerships and not individualism.
“We are certainly proud of NANTA for this collaboration with TOUGHA and which was endorsed by South Africa Tourism. At the embassy, we are always happy to receive Nigerian business trade groups coming to South Africa to discuss business collaborations with groups here and by such efforts, will rekindle hope in the Nigeria and South Africa relation- ships, which over time has brought both countries and people together,” said the Nigeria envoy.
He acknowledged the difficulty in obtaining visas to Nigeria, however, he disclosed that the process is being addressed and with the expected posting of more Nigerian immigration personnel to South Africa, the overwhelming pressure of visa requests by those wishing to visit Nigeria, will be eased.
‘‘These are issues which were on the table when our President and that of South Africa met not too long ago, and the whole idea is to tackle the issues with diplomatic understanding. At the commission here we receive lots of visa requests that will take more hands to handle, but I like said, it is an issue that we confidentially expect that should be resolved,” he noted further.