As FG introduces new policy to boost tourism
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Nigeria has realised a total of $53 million from film and $51 million from the music industries, respectively last year.
This came even as the Nigerian tourism industry is set for speedy development as the Ministry of Information and Culture, in synergy with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), has concluded plans to launch a new tourism policy for the country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this during his working visit to the Corporation’s Headquarters in Abuja, on Tuesday.
Mohammed explained that the policy, when deployed, would create avenue for the development of the nation’s tourism industry, “and it will no doubt lead to an influx of foreigners into Nigeria to appreciate the potentials that abound in the country – our food, music, film, culture and fashion industries which are sub-sectors of the tourism network.”
Mohammed, who described Tourism as the fastest-growing sector in Nigeria economy, according to him, has employed more than one million people, though with the capacity of employing seven million people.
Mohammed while commending the NTDC’s TourNigeria initiative, noted that the NTDC was sitting on a keg of unexplored potentialities.
He added that the Corporation also could harness the huge potentials of Nigeria to attract people to Nigeria, “because there are many reasons people should come to Nigeria.
“Nigeria is a country of colours, with 250 ethnic groups, good culture and almost all-year-round good weather. We are blessed with a good music industry that has become global.
“Our fashion is celebrated globally. Nigeria also has good religious tourism, with lots of people coming to Nigeria every day for religious tourism.”
The Information and Culture minister while commenting on the visa-on-arrival policy for African nationals which began operation since the beginning of this year, said with the policy, the tourism industry would be better off, realise its full potentials and generate more revenue into government coffers and increase the fortune of operators in the industry.
While welcoming the minister, the Director-General of NTDC, Folorunsho Coker identified a paucity of funding as one of the critical problems besetting tourism development in Nigeria aside legislative framework to institutionalise the sector.
He promised not to rest on his oars until the ‘Tour Nigeria’ and ‘Nigerian Flavour’ twin programmes he conceived reach their full potentials and replicated in all states of the federation.
Tour Nigeria is a tourism brand, created by the NTDC in 2017, under the Coker-led administration, to promote domestic tourism in Nigeria.
Coker revealed that the Corporation is deploying digital platforms and strategies to revolutionise the sector, saying “We are embracing digital transformation tools to gain more mileage and penetration to sell the Nigerian flavours – music, film, fashion and food to the global world.”
He reiterated his road map for the Nigerian Tourism, a five-point action plan – acronym, CHIE, Corporate Governance and Regulations, Human Capital Development, Infrastructural Development, Events and Marketing, and Finance and Investment–to promote and develop the tourism industry by promoting domestic tourism and encouraging ease of doing business in Nigeria.