MINISTER of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, has called on tourism stakeholders in the country to put their hands on deck and move the industry to the next level.
Alhaji Muhammed made the call in his address at the public presentation and lunching of the book titled, “Redefining Tourism in Nigeria: The Real Issues and Challenges Vol. 1-3” at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja.
The Minister, represented by the Director-General of the National Institute for Hospitality & Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Mrs. Chika Balogun, explained that, “This effort must be collective and should attract the best of Public-Private Partnership.”
He added that “Nigeria has strong comparative advantages in the Hospitality and Tourism industry because of its diverse cultural heritage that are all disposed to what is commonly referred to as the Nigerian hospitality.
“This great nation is indeed blessed with abundant natural and cultural resources that are well blended for tourists’ delight and might I add, a strong emphasis on domestic tourism. It is against this background that the Federal Government is committed to repositioning tourism as one of the levers for economic growth and development in the country,” Lai Muhammed said.
Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh, earlier in her speech emphasised her commitment to ensuring that the Nigerian youth embraces tourism.
This, according to her, informed the efforts of the Corporation to promote youth tourism.
She explained that “I have always been a crusader of youth tourism, even before I became the Acting DG. And now, the efforts have been geared up as the Corporation under my administration is committed to heightening the interest of the youth in tourism, making them appreciate the inherent rewards of the money-spinning sector.”
Rae-Omoh, who disclosed that the book will educate the young generation on the importance of tourism, noted that the tourism book as long overdue.
The tourism book is centered on changing the perception of Nigerian people on the place of tourism to the overall national development objective.