By Liade Akinboade
President Goodluck Jonathan, weekend, said the development of tourism and culture in the country was imperative to enhance the economic potential of Nigeria.
President Jonathan, who stated this while declaring open the 6th Abuja carnival, said it was time to recognize the importance of culture and tourism in national development.
The president, who was represented on the occasion by the Minister of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, Alhaji Abubakar Sadiq, said “the needs of the country must include the development of the culture and tourism industries in order to provide ample opportunity through which Nigeria can enhance its economic potentials.
“For average Nigerian, this surely comes as a surprise as we are not used to linking culture with development.
“For some of us who have had the duty of seeking a true path to national development, we have come to accept its validity.”
President Jonathan used the opportunity to appeal to Nigerians to ensure that they related with the carnival because the event has come to stay.
He stressed: “It is a tourism product that we must cherished and we must ensure its sustainable development so as to attract the desired tourists into the country, thus making Nigeria a tourism destination with pride.”
He assured Nigerians that his administration would continue to ensure that tourism and culture flourished in the nation.
“The Federal Government will continue to invest heavily in the development of the country,” he said.
25 states of 36 states in the federation are participating in the opening ceremony of 2010 Abuja carnival.