Mbanefo denies corruption allegations

Director General, Nigerian Tourism development Corporation, NTDC, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, has said allegations of corruption and highhandedness being speculated in the media is a handiwork of those who are against the transformation she has brought into the corporation in less than three years she came in.

Mrs. Sally Uwechue-Mbanefo

The DG stated this when she addressed a joint press conference with members of NTDC board to inform on some of the developmental strides she has taken to boost the tourism sector as an alternative to over dependence on oil revenue.

The media parley is coming on the heels of speculations that the various unions existing in the corporation were on strike for her inability to provide purposeful leadership.

However, Mrs. Mbanefo dismissed the publications that she was having a frosty relationship with staff, but admitted that the corporation had issues of staff promotions and conversion which she said her team and the board was working to resolve.

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While highlighting some of the achievements she has recorded, she said it was proper to clear the air that the achievements were not based on moneys that accrued to the corporation from the federation’s account, but her ingenuity in galvanizing support from the private sector.

“On assumption of office I made sure I reinvented the corporation, people/structure, grew tourism value chain and reinvented tourism value chain. Also, I have taken premium on staff welfare who are to drive the vision.”

She said in spite of the inroads she has made, it was curious that some persons outside the corporation were bent on thwarting the progress by publishing malicious stories using the names of trade unions.

“Let me quote from the handover note I got from my predecessor, in 2007, NTDC received N2.5 billion; N1.7 billion in  2008; N1.5 billion in 2009; N1.4 billion in  2010; N 1.5 billion in 2011; N1.2 billion in 2012; and N1 billion in  2013.”

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She explained that in 2014, N1.3 billion was appropriated, but only N958 million was released, adding that her performance has surpassed her predecessors who were collecting revenue from hotel registration which has since been stopped by a supreme court judgment.

Also speaking, representative of the Controller General of Customs who is a director on the board, Wale Adeniyi, assured that the board would support the DG to deliver on her laudable ideas to drive the tourism sector.

On the issue of promotion, he emphasized that there were laid down rules which are not only guided by merit, but there must be vacancies for such promotions to be made.

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