THE lower chamber of the National Assembly has commended the domestic tourism agenda promotion and development drive of the Director-General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorusho Coker.
Making the commendation on Thursday at the 2018 budget defense, the Chairman of the House Committee on Tourism, Culture and Information, Hon. Ogbeide-Ihama Omoregie, said the clear-cut vision of the NTDC boss and his focus on domestic tourism, Nigeria will soon correct the anomalies in our tourism sector.
This was just as Omoregie charged the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, to take the campaign for better attention and funding for tourism to the Federal Executive Council meeting, which according to him, will enable to actualize the progressive plans for the industry.
Hon. Omoregie, who described tourism as a veritable tool for enhancing national unity, generating huge revenue for government, creating jobs and drastically eradicates poverty in the nation, declared the support of the NASS for NTDC.
“We will support and partner with NTDC to ensure tourism growth in Nigeria, to explore it’s potentialities in infusing unity among Nigerians, generate good revenue for government, create employment for our people, and put money in their pockets,” Omoregie declared.
Omoregie, however disclosed the decision of the House to kick against the sales of the National Theatre, while calling on the Minister of Information and Culture to wade into, and resolve, the internal crisis in the organisation.
The committee then made a case for an intense focus on domestic tourism, saying, “We have to develop our tourism assets, destinations, cultural heritage and festivals. Mambilla Plateau, Ojude-Oba and National Parks, among innumerable others, are there for us to develop and explore to woo foreign tourists and better the lots of our dear nation and her good people.”
Coker, while defending the Corporation’s budget for 2018, described tourism as big business, disclosing his intention to focus on domestic tourism, “to make the best use of what we have and consume more of Nigeria, while using technology as a pivotal tool.”
While describing global tourism revenues as over $8 trillion and employment at over 300 million, the NTDC boss revealed that over the years, Nigeria has been fortunate to develop new forms of cultural expression, “like our music, which is huge around the world; our Nollywood is number two in the world; our fashion is simply superb, with our fashion designers competing at international level; our food, our religion enjoy good attention globally. These show how rich we are in tourism assets.
” It is now for us to decide what we want and the ingredients needed, then put them together to prepare a sumptuous tourism meal to be enjoyed by our nation.”