By Jimoh Babatunde
Kano state government has promised serious investors in the hospitality sub sector of the tourism industry ready to build five star hotels in the state of free land and other benefits.
The state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, disclosed this in Kano while receiving the Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, who led the management team of the agency to pay him courtesy call at his office .
“ We are willing to partner any serious investor that want to build a 5 star hotel in the state to help boost its tourism and commercial potentials of our state. The state government will give free land for that purpose.”
Abdullahi Umar Ganduje added that the state population is the highest in the country, which is part of tourism attraction, “because you need the people, you need business, you need trade and whatever you do, you need people to patronize whatever you do.”
Kano, he maintained, boasts of several attractive sites like the over 500 years old Kurmi market, while the Kano Zoological Garden which recently enhanced and stocked, as well as the new zoo established along Zaria road are excellent sites for tourism attraction.
While maintaining that the people of the state are culture - minded people who traditions and historical sites entail huge potential for tourism, he said despite the exposure of Kano citizens to the outside world, especially long-term interaction with Europeans and Arabs, the people of Kano have not discarded their culture and tradition.
"You would not see any cultural incursion in Kano because the dominance of Hausa Language is beyond the borders of the state and that assisted in protecting the culture of Kano people.”
The governor then invited the NTDC boss to attend the forthcoming Edil Kabir Durbar in Kano so that she and other dignitaries that would accompany her would better appreciate the rich cultural heritage of the Kanawa.
On her part, the NTDC Director - General, Mrs Sally Mbanefo said she came to Kano with some investors to see how they could partner with the government in promoting the state’s prestigious tourism sites, with the view to contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.
Mrs. Mbanefo lamented that although Nigeria is the giant of Africa, it is at the lowest level in contributing to GDP, which is just four percent, while countries like Kenya are contributing over 15 of their GDP through tourism sites attractions.
She noted that Kano Durbar is rated as best in the whole world, assuring that NTDC would do its best to promote it.