Munzali Dantata

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Munzali Dantata, a Nigerian lawyer by training with a Ph.D (Law) degree, is an acknowledged tourism enthusiast and activist in both the public and private sectors of the Nigerian tourism industry. He was Director General for the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism from 2006 to 2014, a government run tourism training institute. Before his stint in the public sector, he was visible in the private sector as President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents (1991-1993), and President of Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (2003-2006).[1]

Personal life[edit]

Munzali Dantata is a scion of the late Alhassan Dantata once the richest man in West Africa. He is from Kano state northern Nigeria, born in the ancient city of Kano, Nigeria, in 1957. He attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria from 1977 and graduated in 1980 with the bachelors degree in law (LL.B.).

Career[edit]

He began his career in law practice in 1981 as a counsel at the Ministry of Justice of Kano State. By 1987 he made a strategic move to the tourism industry with the incorporation of a travel agency. Soon after he began business as a travel agent and tour operator, Dantata was appointed a Board Member of the governing board of Nigeria's premier tourism regulator, the Nigeria Tourist Board (NTB) in 1991, as a representative of the private sector of the Nigerian tourism industry. It was during his tenure sitting on the governing board of Nigeria's apex tourism body that the Board was transformed from regulator to a more visible role as marketer of Nigerian tourism, and renamed Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). In the same year he was appointed to the Board, Dantata was elected president of the National Association of the Nigerian Travel Agencies; a position he held from 1991 to 1993.

He caught the attention of the federal government for the second time, in the year 2000, with an appointment to two committees of the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE), the BPE Committee on Tourism and the BPE Committee on Aviation. The BPE is an interventionist body created by the federal government of Nigeria in 1999 to commercialise or privatise ailing public corporations. Dantata reached the peak of his public sector appointments in the Nigerian tourism industry in 2003 with as appointment as Counsel Member of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT), representing the Nigerian tourism organized private sector. The Counsel was created and headed by the President of Nigeria to revitalize the Nigerian tourism industry and place Nigeria on the map of international tourism as a favourite African destination.

Before his appointments in Nigerian tourism public sector bodies, Dantata had been very active in the Nigerian tourism private sector, as a travel agent representing international airlines and promoting international destinations, and as a tour operator promoting Nigerian destinations. He established a cultural-cum-tourism village in 1999 at the foot of the famous the Zuma Rock showcasing the cultures of Nigerian ethnic groups which made him visible in the tourims and cultural sectors. He was elected vice president of the Federation of West and Central African Travel and Tourism Associations (FISAVET) in which he promoted regional travel and cooperation between organized private sector organizations of the west African region.

In 2006, Dantata was appointed the Director General of the National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), the apex government tourism training institute in Nigeria. He left the National Institute in 2014 after two terms of four years each, and founded Zuma Institute for Globalization and entrepreneurship. Dantata has authored several books including Abuja: A Business Travel Guide (1993), and Tammunnde: Hope on the Horizon (2017). He has also delivered many papers while serving with public and private sector organizations with a passion for promoting tourism in Nigeria and the African at large.

References[edit]

  • A Year of Golden Hopes, ThisDay Newspaper, 18 Dec. 2010