Nigeria  joined the global community, weekend, as the  Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) unveiled the first road network navigational system in the country  along with street level maps of Nigerian cities with the support of its foreign partners, Setdrive Limited.

The system, according to the Director-General of the corporation, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, would fast track the development of domestic travel and tourism business and  help in curbing delays and man hour loss in search of local districts and important business offices in Nigerian cities.

Speaking on the introduction of the personal travel aid, Otunba Runsewe said: “The time has come for Nigeria to join the global trend in tourism promotion and development,” noting that the initiatives are  well thought out to help fast track the seven-point economic agenda of President Umaru Yar’Adua’s administration.

Presenting the product to members of the Nigerian Guild of Editors in Lagos, the NTDC’s Director-General explained that a sleek navigator and a keen travel assistant, the nuvi 200w, was preloaded with highly detailed street maps for the entire Nigerian capital cities and interconnecting highways among others.

“This map database features nearly six million points of interest that include hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and tourist attractions. This preloaded navigator brings all this fantastic map data to your fingertips with a super bright, 4.3 inches wide-screen display for improved map viewing, day or night,” he said.

Otunba Runsewe explained that with the simple touch of the screen to enter a destination, the nuvi takes the user into 2D or 3D maps and turn by turn voice directions.

“In addition, the nuvi 200w features travel tools including a JPEG picture viewer, a world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converters, calculator and more. It also comes with Garmin lock, an anti-theft feature and configurable vehicle icons that let you select car shaped graphics to show your location on the map,” he added.

He described the mobilemap as an application for mobile phones that enables users browse Nigerian city maps using their mobile phones, “all Nigerian Cities down to street level are presently covered.”

The NTDC boss said “we cannot promote tourism in this country without the right tools to do so,” noting that one of the critical importance of the project was that it would help the country to retain street names/numbers; respect approved building plans; and  register public interest institutions such as hotels, police stations and motor parks among others, adding: “This is because the Satellite Navigation System is one with constant viewpoint hospitality that is total.”

Otunba Runsewe told the Editors that the corporation would be donating one thousand hard copies of maps of all the states and the Federal Capital Territory to the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.