Stakeholders in the tourism sector on Tuesday called on federal and states government to beef up security at tourists sites to encourage inbound tourism.
The stakeholders spoke to Nigerian Pilot in separate interviews in Lagos against the backdrop of the recent kidnap at Ogba Zoological Garden and Nature Park in Benin City.
Nigerian Pilot reports the Director and Chief Executive of the Park, Dr Andy Ehanire, was abducted by the gunmen suspected to be kidnappers and the three policemen guarding the place were killed.
Mrs Nneka Moses, the Managing Director, Goge Africa said that such ugly incidents of kidnapping in Nigerian tourists sites was not encouraging.
“It is not good for tourism business in the country as it sends the wrong signal that the country’s tourists sites are not safe.
“Such act discourages both local and foreign investors and any individual involved in such a dastardly act should desist from it, ‘’she said.
She urged the government to set up “Tourism Police” in all the major tourism sites across the country.
“This will help to reduce criminal activities at our domestic tourism sites.
“Such development will send a good signal to foreign and local tourists that the country is safe for tourists to visit, ‘’she said.
Mr Ayo Olumoko, the Managing Director, Infogem Ltd., a tourism firm, said that the country was safe for tourists.
Olumoko, however, said that government at all tiers needed to tighten security in some of the tourists sites.
“There is no country in the world that has no security challenges but individual countries have several approaches of handling such challenges.
“Therefore, government should be proactive in addressing such ugly incidents in the country.
“It been long we heard of kidnap in our tourists sites, the recent one is quite unfortunate,’’ he said.
Mr Maigari Manzo, the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Tourism, Kaduna State said that the government had geared up effort in ensuring tight security in the city.
Manzo said that government was working closely with several security agencies to tackle security challenges in his state.
He appealed to other state governments to follow in that direction.
“We have tackled the issue of insecurity in the state to the barest minimum.
“I will say it is now a thing of the past and the state is now safe for tourists to visit.
“Kaduna State tourists sites now record huge and encouraging numbers of local and international tourists annually, ‘’he said.
Manzo assured local and international tourists of adequate security in the state and indeed many parts of the country.