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Buhari tasked on tourism



muhammadu buhari


President Muhammadu Buhari has been called upon to emulate the worthy initiative of former President Olusegun Obasanjo by according tourism a cardinal status in the revitalization of the nation’s economy.

The call was contained in an address presented by Chief Charles Okoroafor, a trustee of the Imo state chapter of the Federation of Tourist Associations of Nigeria, FTAN at the World Tourism Day Celebration held in Owerri, the Imo State Capital, recently.

He said the call on President Buhari has become very necessary because of the total neglect given to the tourism sector in the country.

Tourism according to him is one of the fastest growing human enterprises adding that in 1950, the total number of international tourism animals stood at 25.3million; in 1970 if appreciated to 158.7 million, in 1980 it increased to 284.8 million and; in 2008 if grew to 924 million.

Elaborating, he noted that it went on to hit the mile stone figure of one billion on 13th December 2012.

This is indeed a monumental tourism achievement worthy of celebration.

Chief Okoroafor, a retired permanent Secretary in the ministry of agriculture in Imo state and the former Chair of FITAN in the state said, he expects that Nigeria under Buhari will join the global tourism family in celebrating this year’s World Tourism Day.

‘We should look forward to an event which will mark a turning point in the animals of tourism in our country,’ he enthused.

He said one of the voiceless causalities in Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria is tourism, as it is an enterprise that blossoms in a peaceful environment. The Boko Haram insurgency which emerged as a localized uprising of some religious fanatics in Maidugiri in 2009 has now metamorphosed into a formidable fighting force.
According to him, if the country is rescued from this vandal control and cleared of all land mines and improvised explosive devices, Sambisa will play a novel role in the Nigerian economy as a dual-potential tourist destination, attracting a drove of international tourists interested in eco-tourism and battleground tourism, all year round.

In his own address, the chairperson of the group, Dr.Jude Ohanele said, in order to move our tourism sector forward and make it a major driving force for poverty alleviation, share prosperity and economic development, it is also imperative that our government must collaborate effectively with the FTAN and other stakeholders to develop and implement pro-people policies that can help spread the profits and benefits of tourism across the population.

He said to reap the seed dividends of tourism, there is need for proper planning and investment in appropriate infrastructure and creating a tax regime that can allow the private sector to be competitive.

He therefore called on all those that love Imo state to join FTAN in pushing for a safe and conducive environment for tourism to thrive in the state adding that “tourism is presently the oxygen keeping Imo state alive.

In a lecture on the subject, ‘Festival Tourism NEXUS: the viable AGENDA for socio-economic prosperity in Nigeria’ presented by ABC Duruaku, the group said that tourism consists of the activities of people visiting a place on holidays, and the providing of services for those people; pointing out that tourism is often deliberate action that satisfies the urge to see and know more in a pleasurable way, be if business, sports, religion, education, recreation and research.



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