#ENDSARS: FTAN advises FG to engage Nigerian youths positively

The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), on Thursday advised the Federal Government to create platforms that will positively engage Nigerian youths.

FTAN president, Mr Nkerewuem Onung, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

He said the Federal Government should establish skill acquisition centres across each local government area of the federation and intensify efforts in job creation to get the Nigerian youths meaningfully engaged.

According to him, this will guide against youth restiveness as well as their engagement in all manner of social vices, riot and social unrest generally, as displayed during the 2020 ENDSARS protest.

Onung said that government must ensure full obedience to the rule of law, rendering everyone equal before the law, likewise intensifying efforts in ensuring utmost security for the citizenry.

He called on the Lagos State and Cross River state governments to ensure renovation of some burnt tourism spaces – Lagos Theatre Oregun and Cross Rivers state’s Tinapa hotels, destroyed during the ENDSARS protest.

He said to guide against future occurrence of the sad incidents, the Federal Government must wade into tackling the problem of unemployment and create avenues where the Nigerian youths’ talents could be discovered and developed.

“We identify with Nigerian youths who have not been provided the environment to express their potential.

“It is high time the Federal Government created platforms for Nigerian youths to express their full potential.

“The destiny of a nation is endangered when the young ones are disgruntled against their leaders, we can say this is time bomb waiting to explode.

“Government should create platforms for skill acquisition in each local government area, engage in massive job creation and intensify efforts in ensuring security of lives.

“We need the entrench the rule of law, equity, justice dispensed, government must give people hope and security,” he said.

Also, Mr Ikechi Uko, Organiser, AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market, said that the ENDSARS protest incidence was the worst crime committed against the tourism industry in Nigeria.

He said that the protests were genuine desires for change but it was only mismanaged, leading to the riots which set tourism in Lagos and Cross River states back.

Uko decried the fact that a year after, none of those properties had been restored, urging the State governments to wade into this.

“The destruction of the transport infrastructure and the very beautiful Oregun theatre was heart rending for most of us in tourism.

“The thrashing of Tinapa Resort in Calabar was the worst crime committed against Tourism in Nigeria, a year after none of those properties have been restored, a huge loss for the Industry.

“Government should see to the revamping of these properties to ensure continuity in tourism activities in those states,” he said. (NAN)