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FTAN, Inspiring Gender Inclusiveness


By Frank Meke

Nkereweum Onung, President of Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, (ftan) has soft spot for women in his heart. I am not looking for unnecessary controversies but the truth is that this Oron, Akwa ibom born leader of Nigerian tourism sector is a ladies man.

Under his watch as ftan president, he is handful in managing his many cerebral and highly opinionated women. Yes, these ladies, all leaders in their own right and sphere loves and protects him.

Sometimes, I wonder how he manages their presence, contributions and robust expressivity. Can brilliant women irritate too? Well, women are made tender and so they expects their mistakes and excesses be overlooked and turned into inspiration by caring male bosses.

Nkereweum Onung understand their frailities, willing and sacrificially prodding them to be agents of change and inclusive partners.

Indeed, in the history of the Federation, Nkereweum Onung leadership has positively advanced the cause of women in tourism more than ever before.

He deliberately sits back, hand over the baton and give them a wide breath to make meaningful contributions to the sector and defends their strides and aggressiveness, knowing that women so expressively supported and encouraged, turns to ceiling breakers.

In celebrating international women’s Day today, Friday March 8th, Nkereweum onung did not just join world leaders in acknowledging the contributions of women to nation building, he picked out his women in tourism for public show of appreciation and honour.

It’s inspiring to me and many of us in the sector to know there are women, our sisters, siblings, friends and mothers who does leave home, family and all to shape the industry and our nation.

In this ftan centric piece, you may wonder who are the ftan babes, the nkereweum onung girls and where they ply their trade.!

Leading the ftan women team is Susan Akporarie, second deputy president of the federation and president, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies. She is handful, cerebral, outspoken, beautiful and a game changer . Her four years administration in nanta has seen more women in travel trade blossom and more daring than ever before.

Funmi kazeem, is President Hotel owners and a lawyer. She is elegant, ever smiling and a silent archiver. She hugs her job in protecting hotel owners with candour and determination.

Justina ovat is a hospitality police woman, focal, intelligent and a caregiver of young persons, particularly women in hospitality services and business. Ovat is a beau, exciting and futuristic. She is a hospitality growth encyclopedia. She is married ooo like others.

Tall, elegant and ambitious, beautiful IMe Udo heads the Nigerian tour operators group. She completes the nkereweum onung female team in ftan. IMe Udo is special Adviser, tourism to Akwa ibom governor, a Job she does with ftan president to help the State become the number one tourism destination in Nigeria.

From me , I wish these Amazons, an inspiring progressive contributions to Nigerian tourism. I urge them to find others, groom them and inclusively take Nigerian tourism to greater heights. Nkereweum onung, thank you for finding these beautiful ladies worthy to work with you for a better ftan tomorrow. Do we expect a future ftan with a woman in charge? I have a dream, that one day in my life time, it shall happen. Happy women’s Day to many other women in this sector. I rejoice with you all.


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