President of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Alhaji Saleh Rabo, has said that FTAN decided to settle the disagreement among members of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) because of the importance of tour operators to the growth and development of tourism in Nigeria. He said the industry could not develop in such an acrimonious atmosphere hence the decision by stakeholders in the tourism industry to call the warring parties to a meeting and make peace.
FTAN had waded in and resolved the crisis that bedeviled one of its federating associations, NATOP, over the association’s recently conducted elective annual general meeting (AGM) in Jos, Plateau State.
According to Rabo, it became imperative to call on the warring parties for a meeting as the crisis did not augur well for the industry. The meeting, held at FTAN secretariat in Asokoro, Abuja, had the following members of the FTAN reconciliation committee present, Rabo, the committee’s chairman; Chief Tomi Akingbogun, FTAN ex-president; Stephen Isokariari, NANTA BOT chairman; Alhaji Aliyu Badaki, HATMAN president; Vincent Ugbor, HOPESEA president; and John Likita Best, Plateau State Tourism Board and membership secretary of FTAN. The NATOP executives present were Mr. Nkereuwem Onung, NATOP BOT chairman; Hajia Bilkisu Abdul, NATOP president; Mrs. Bolaji Mustapha, NATOP treasurer, and Malam Kabir Malan, NATOP BOT member.
Some of the aggrieved members in attendance were Mr. O. Jemi-Alade, NATOP BOT member; Mr. Abiola Lawal; Mr. Efetobor Awhana and Mr. Chike Osuagwu.
Rabo appealed to both parties to be calm and mature in their presentations, stating that the reason for the meeting was to find a lasting solution to the crisis.
He said the development of the tourism industry in Nigeria was hinged on cooperation and peace among tour operators as they were considered one of the determinants of success in the tourism industry in Nigeria.
After reading the petition of the aggrieved party and giving opportunity for both sides to state their positions, the committee called for a break.
Upon resumption from the break, the chairman thanked everybody for comporting themselves well throughout the hearing.
He once again appealed that both parties should accept whatever resolutions would be reached at the meeting and there would be no victor no vanquished, a win-win situation for all.
The committee, after looking at NATOP’s constitution, resolved that a quorum was formed for the AGM based on the constitution; on the issue of the account, the committee resolved that the executives should go back and do a proper account, which must be prepared by an external auditor, presented and circulated to all members; while on the final election, the committee recommended that there should be a ‘give and take’ and each party should be ready to make some concession as sacrifice. Therefore, since there were other positions yet to be occupied, they recommended the following: Mr. Efetobor should assume the office of the publicity secretary; Mr. Lawal Abiola should accept the position of an ex-officio while Mr. Sanni would be on the BOT of NATOP.
Rabo added that the executive should meet and decide whether to continue with the present executives for the next two years or call for another early election. He said that FTAN should be invited to the meeting and the minutes of the meeting should be submitted to FTAN for follow-up. On the alleged N10 million donation, it was established that there was no such donation from the Plateau State government.
In his final remarks, the chairman thanked everyone for their time. He also encouraged members to pay their dues because that was the only way the association could survive. He also advised that they should hold meetings regularly and ensure that proper minutes are taken and circulated to members. The Sun News