QUICK on her feet, new Nigerian High Commissioner to Jamaica Maureen Tamuno, who assumed the post less than a month ago, is already laying the groundwork to help boost tourism and investment in Jamaica.
She told the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview that the Caribbean island must do what is necessary to elevate itself into a one-stop shop for tourists, with a magnetising effect on the people of the world.
Tamuno is pushing for stronger bilateral relations between Jamaica and Nigeria, highlighting phenomenal cultural exchange and business experiences that await both nations. By the time she completes her stint in the next three years, she expects it to be an established fact that Nigeria helped boost tourism in Jamaica by 50 per cent and investments by at least 35 per cent.
Tamuno also wants to be the Nigerian high commissioner who goes down in history as the guru who influenced frequent and direct flights from Nigeria to Jamaica.
“Right now, Jamaica is a destination because it is just for tourism. If Jamaica is able to make Jamaica ‘the destination’, it will boost your economy. What I mean by ‘the destination’ is not one just for tourism, but a one-stop shop where tourists can come and do their shopping, have their weddings, do some level of business, and also relax. That way, more people will come to Jamaica,” Tamuno told the Observer.
She also spoke enthusiastically about bringing the biggest stars from Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry to train Jamaicans in creating their own thriving sector.
“When we talk about movies, Nollywood cannot be shifted to the back. There will be a need to actually have programmes with Jamaicans, teaching them how to act. We’ll bring Nollywood actors and actresses here to help Jamaica advance its own film industry,” she said. “I just arrived and I am visiting the relevant ministries responsible for doing that and we are looking at having the joint agreement meeting held in Nigeria as soon as the global protocols allow us to move. Nigeria is ready to host it at the end of the last quarter [of this year] or the first quarter of next year.”