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  • Monday, June 24, 2024
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Tourism sector critical to Nigeria’s economic diversification – Obaseki

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki has said that the tourism sector has the potential to improve revenue and facilitate economic development in the country.

Obaseki, who made the remarks at the Edo State tourism key stakeholders workshop in Benin City, urged governments to focus on the sector in a bid to diversify the nation’s economy from crude oil, which the country has depended on for the past 40 years.

The governor said Nigeria needs to expedite actions to facilitate diversification of the nation’s revenue base to grow the economy because what the country gets from its oil assets is not enough to sustain the country as the Federal Government now struggle to get allocation to share among states.

“For us in Edo, we have come to the end of the road as we are deliberating on developing other sources to help raise revenue to develop the economy of the state.

Read also: World Bank praises EdoBEST programme

“As a state, we need to diversify our economy to a broad base. And one unique asset that we have as a state is tourism. Edo is strategically located and traffic must flow through the state and we must utilize it effectively to generate revenue for the state. Our focus is for the traffic to stop and the travelers to spend their money here in Edo to boost our revenue. We are looking for things to do to attract tourists to spend their money here.

“We have a huge ecosystem to support the tourism sector in the state. Tourism is not all about culture, monuments, ecotourism and business but entails much; a whole totality, and having an ecosystem that supports it. Tourism must begin at home; it’s local, and we must have strong tourism that is locally based to attract international tourists into the state.

“We have so many aspects of tourism in Edo and this workshop should, in my view, enables our stakeholders to think about tourism in a much broader sense and understand the players within that ecosystem,” Obaseki said.

He added that to boost ecotourism in the state, his administration is working with the National Park Service as it prepares to co-invest in Okomu National Park, which would be extended to develop the state’s park in Gelegele.

Stakeholders present at the workshop include the Benin Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (BENCCIMA); Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria; National Council of Arts; Edo Global Arts Foundation; Cultural Troupes; directors from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs); commissioners, and permanent secretaries, among others.

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