Nigeria’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Amb. Haruna Manta has harped on intra-Africa travel, lauding the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) for the promotion of tourism to address trade-related matters in Nigeria and the continent.
Speaking at a farewell dinner organised by the Nigerian High Commission in South Africa for NANTA delegates and their partners from the Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA) held in Hotel Sky, Johannesburg, South Africa Saturday night, Manta disclosed that the determination of the travel agencies to bring about change to the narratives of Intra African tourism resonates with the dreams of most African people.
The Envoy noted that rather than individualism, collaboration is the way to go in defining the prospects of Intra African cultural tourism trade and business opportunities.
“We are certainly proud of NANTA for this collaboration with TOUGHA and which was endorsed by South African 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, we rekindle hope in Nigeria and South African relations, which over time has brought both countries and people together.”
On the difficulty in obtaining visas to Nigeria, the ambassador explained that the process was 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 ease out over time.
“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 ” Manta further stated.
Describing the NANTA initiative as octane to future trade professionals’ collaboration and partnership, Manta stated that it is difficult to deny visas to groups as suspicious profiling usually administered to an individual, will never be applied to collaborative and united efforts in the mould of the NANTA initiative.
“An individual as against a corporate effort may arouse immigration detailed profiling particularly when the individual may have enough funds to channel his visit and to which such pecuniary luxury may attract immigration deep examination as against spending by groups to an economy or destination which usually gets positive nods from host nations.”