Sen. Isiaka Adeleke (APC, Osun West) has appealed to Nigerians and the three tiers of government to embrace local tourism to boost the country’s economy.
Adeleke’s appeal was contained in a statement signed by Mr Toye Arulogun, the Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, in Ibadan on Wednesday.
Nigerian pilot reports that Adeleke who was the first civilian governor of Osun State from 1992 to 1993,and also the Chairman, Senate Committee on Capital Market, said that tourism was a viable sector through which the economy of the country could be revived.
He charged Nigerians to encourage local tourism instead of expending huge resources on foreign ones.
According to him, “Tourism has huge potentialities which have not been fully utilized.
“Some countries in the world have sustained their economy through investments in the tourism sector and have yielded fruitful results.”
The former governor said several tourist sites were lying fallow in their various locations within the country untapped.
“It is good that we are diversifying our economy from dependence on oil to other sectors so as to meet the various challenges we are facing as a country.
“One of the key sectors we should not neglect is tourism. It is a viable sector if properly tapped and harnessed.
“Some African countries rely on their tourism potentialities to boost their economy. People throughout the world spend huge sums of money on tourism, because tourism is part of our day-to-day activities.
“If we encourage local tourism, it will help with the development of our local content.
“I believe the Federal Government and some state governments are already working assiduously to tap into the huge tourism potential,” he said.
He advised the government to make tourist sites more attractive, saying tourism was money-spinning and Nigeria should not be left out of the opportunity it provides.
Adeleke also urged Nigerians to patronise the tourist sites instead of expending on foreign ones.