Goge Africa commends bank’s investment in tourism sector

Goge Africa, a tourism and cultural media brand, has commended Sterling Bank for supporting the tourism sector over the years.

Its Managing Director, Nneka Isaac-Moses, gave the commendation in a statement on Tuesday, in Lagos.

She said Sterling Bank invested N5 billion intervention fund for tourism practitioners in the 2020, during the lockdown, when the industry was at a crossroad.

Isaac-Moses described the intervention as a game-changer as provided support to numerous practitioners in the industry, while developing the growth and development of tourism in Nigeria.

She emphasised the significance of having a financial institution take the lead in advancing the discourse on tourism sector.

“Having a financial institution lead the discourse on tourism in Nigeria, is the new chapter for tourism success story in the most populous black nation.

“Cross-sectoral collaboration is essential for tourism and economic development in Nigeria.

“Sterling Bank entered the industry at a time when the tourism business was at the crossroads.

“The global impact of COVID-19, the general economic downturn, increasing travel costs within Africa, and specific challenges in Nigeria such as, lack of access to tourism spots, security concerns, inadequate infrastructure and enabling environment had demoralised industry practitioners, especially tour operators.

“Moreover, the government’s focus on oil has resulted in inadequate attention to tourism, leading corporates and financial institutions to view tourism in Nigeria as a non-viable venture,” she said.

Isaac-Moses noted that Sterling Bank’s intervention gave hope to tourism practitioners, encouraged more people to enter the tourism space and motivated tourism practitioners to structure their businesses to meet the requirements for accessing support from the bank.

She said other financial institutions began to take a closer look at tourism as a potential investment opportunity.

“When we launched Goge Africa in 1999, it was a significant challenge to capture the attention of corporate entities.

“Financial institutions, in particular, seemed uninterested in our endeavors. Therefore, we cannot overstate our excitement regarding the recent developments in our industry.

“We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Mr Abubakar Suleiman, the esteemed Managing Director at Sterling Bank, for his visionary guidance.

“We appreciate his belief in the immense potential of tourism to bridge communities, celebrate diverse cultures, and drive sustainable economic growth,” she said.

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