Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Mrs. Nkechi Ejele, has urged stakeholders in the tourism industry to partner with the ministry to help check the impediments of growth and development of the sector in Nigeria.
Ejele stated this at a stakeholders meeting organised by the Department of International Tourism Promotion and Cooperation of the ministry in Abuja.
While speaking at the meeting with the theme, “Tourism: A Tool for Sustainable Economic Diversification,” she disclosed that the theme of the meeting was apt because it will enable stakeholders to share ideas, knowledge and experiences on how tourism can meaningfully increase the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, of Nigeria by creating job opportunities for unemployed persons, thus alleviating poverty in the country.
She said tourism has contributed to the wealth of nations and the wellbeing of their citizens by providing foreign exchange earnings through the interesting, hospitable and worthwhile experiences it avails tourists and visitors, adding that the 3.2 percent tourism sector contribution to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and 1.4 percent employment generation it creates as estimated by the World Travel and Tourism Council, WTTC, is underestimated as a result of inadequate statistics.
According to her, weak policy implementation, poor inter-sector and inter-government linkages, lack of fiscal policy, unsustainable efforts at standardisation, absence of domesticated information and management system, internal security challenges, as well as inadequate tourism infrastructure and convention centres are some of the challenges militating against the full development of the tourism sector.
She stated that according to the 2012 World Economic Council Report, despite these challenges, Nigeria is ranked number two with enormous potential for tourism growth, while the British Economic Council Report Appraisal for 2012 also ranked Nigeria as the fourth largest spenders in retail businesses in the United Kingdom.
Subsequently, she said harnessing Nigeria’s inherent tourism potentials and converting same to our national economic advantage has become imperative, hence the call for concerted efforts toward achieving the desired growth of the sector as mandated in the Nigerian Tourism Development Master Plan.
To achieve this growth, the permanent secretary noted that a strong Public Private Partnership, PPP, is a key requirement, with government providing the enabling environment, while private stakeholders drive the sector with their knowledge and wealth of experience.
Earlier, Director, International Tourism Department in the ministry, Mrs. Aderonke Wole-Fasanya, in her speech, stated that tourism in Nigeria is at its lowest ebb because it is not considered a profitable sector, as the true ties and values of the industry are usually underestimated.
She stated that the tourism industry can contribute meaningfully towards the socio-economic growth and achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, which underscores the ministry’s desire to collaborate with private stakeholders towards harnessing the abundant opportunities that exist in the sector.
Reiterating the ministry’s commitment and conviction towards the development of the sector and the country’s GDP, Wole-Fasanya said the meeting will serve as a catalyst for repositioning, propelling and galvanising of the tourism sector to contribute positively to the growth of the nation.

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