Governor Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State has promised to change the state’s tourism economy.
Ganduje made the promise when he received officials of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) on Wednesday in Kano.
The governor is to receive the Eminent Persons Award as he emerged NANTA Governor for 2021.
This is contained in a statement issued by the NANTA President, Mrs Susan Akporaiye, on Thursday.
The governor bagged the award for building a strong support base for tourism infrastructure and providing effective security architecture in the state.
According to the statement, he has also created an enabling environment for the growth of cultural tourism in the ancient city of Kano, through the provision of infrastructure and security which are key pivots that drive destination visits and investments.
The statement quoted Ganduje as saying that he had turned around facilities at the Aminu Kano International Airport with the aim of providing the best air services which would make the airport attractive to international carriers.
He said this would further boost trade and tourism services in the ancient city, known as the centre and hub of sub-Saharan trade route in Africa.
“We consulted Emirate airlines and they worked with us to upgrade the Kano airport but for COVID-19 and the ongoing diplomatic efforts to resolve Emirate airlines flight issues to Nigeria.
“The airline would have been operating out of Kano by now, that is how serious we are here about making Kano a competitive destination,” the statement quoted ganduje as saying.
On infrastructure that aids tourism, Ganduje reiterated that roads were critical to the movement of goods and people.
According to him, this is a development that made him to find a way to eliminate bottlenecks to vehicle movement in the highly populated city through the construction of flyovers and bye-passes.
He said this brought relief to road users and made the tour of the city very attractive to the growth of cultural tourism offerings of the state.
“This award of excellence from NANTA is most welcome and evident of the true benefits of what we have done here; we must thank NANTA and assure you of our presence to receive the NANTA EMINENT Persons Award in Abuja.
“We must add, security is the key to life and we invested heavily in community policing and no doubt, Kano is safe and home to all in Nigeria,” he said.
Ganduje disclosed that he was overwhelmed by his choice as the best governor, with supportive infrastructure architecture which promotes tourism economy.
He said his administration would partner with the association to sustain tourism values that would boost job openings for the people and encourage cultural promotion of the state.
Earlier, Mr Yinka Folami, Vice President of the association, who represented the President, said that the development of tourism infrastructure in Kano under the administration of Gov. Ganduje was commendable.
Akporaiye said that the very essence of such focal attention helped to encourage the business of travel and tourism trade.
She said this impacted positively on the livelihood of majority of NANTA members and Nigerians at large.
She said Kano, under the watch of the governor, has upped the game of promoting Nigeria as a destination to watch in Africa and the world.
“Your Excellency, your achievements resonate with us as an association, and we felt you deserve our encouragement and support by the way of this award of excellence which is not driven by any pecuniary interest.
“We are not living in denial of our security challenges but we doff our heart to a governor who has beyond measure proven that in Nigeria a cosmopolitan state such as Kano can really lead in performance and verifiable developmental milestones.