Abuja, Oct. 7, 2017 (TNE) Winners in the National Tourism Essay Competition on Friday evening went home with various cash gifts, from an event organised by the Tourism Development and Facility Company Ltd in collaboration with Youth Tourism Connect.
Sunday Ogbaga emerged overall winner in the senior category, ahead of Steve Temitope in the second spot with Bello Muyowa in the third position.
Ogbaga from Ebonyi State went away with the grand prize of N500,000, while Temitope from Osun State got N200,000 and Mayowa from Kwara State took home N100,000.
The only winner in the junior category was Rhandy Nyang from Akwa Ibom State who took home N200,000.
Speaking earlier, the organiser of the event, Ms Abigail Olagbaga, said the senior and junior categories had about 200 entries each.
“We started getting entries from middle of last year and today winners have emerged in the competition. Our panel of judges were from the academia, the Ministry of Information and Culture and other stakeholders in the sector.
“I want to appreciate the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) and all those that supported this competition.
“Let’s do it again next year. I believe that the next edition will be better and bigger than this,” Olagbaga said.
In his address of welcome, the President of FTAN, Malam Saleh Rabo, commended the organiser of the competition, saying that tourism has a greater potential to develop the country than oil.
He said while the country would eventually exhaust its oil reserves, tourism resources would remain intact.
“We have been advocating for tourism subject to be introduced in primary and secondary schools. It should be supported with visits by the students and this will go a long way in creating better understanding among the various ethnic groups.
“By the time people move from the north to the south and vice versa in the name of tourism, it will bring about understanding.
“Also, the tourism industry has the potentials to employ millions of people, both skilled and unskilled,” Rabo said.
Also speaking, Mr Linus Okorie, a motivational and leadership coach, advised the youths to be receptive and peaceful.
According to him, it is only peace that could encourage tourists to visit sites in the country.
A highlight of the occasion was reading of poems on tourism and peaceful co-existence in the country by pupils of the Start Right School, Abuja.