• Friday, May 24, 2024
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Tourism cannot remain stagnant, Says minister

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…as she woos stakeholders for collaboration

Lola Ade-John, Minister of Tourism, has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to reposition and diversify the economy through the revitalisation of the tourism sector, in line with the President Bola Tinubu administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

This is also as the minister disclosed her ministry plans to engage local community leaders in safeguarding and promoting identified national tourism assets.

The minister, who disclosed this during an interactive meeting with members of the Association of Nigerian Journalists and Writers of Tourism (ANJET) in Lagos, Monday, further acknowledged the setbacks experienced in the tourism industry under previous administrations, even as she underscored the imperative for transformative action, stating, “We cannot afford to remain stagnant”.

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While outlining strategic initiatives undertaken by her and aimed at repositioning Nigeria’s tourism sector as a key economic driver, the minister disclosed some of her ministry’s recent proactive measures taken in that direction to include the revival of essential documents, like the Presidential Tourism Council, Tourism Master Plan, and comprehensive inventories of tourism assets spanning federal, state, and local government jurisdictions.

According to her, these initiatives signify a concerted effort to create an enabling environment conducive to sustainable tourism development.

The minister also disclosed that in order to effectively address prevailing challenges such as neglect of cultural and tourism sites, her ministry has outlined plans to engage local community leaders in safeguarding and promoting these national treasures.

“By fostering partnerships with grassroots stakeholders, the Ministry aims to enhance conservation efforts and curb encroachments threatening Nigeria’s rich cultural heritage.

“Also, and in alignment with the Federal Government’s Renewed Hope Agenda, the Ministry of Tourism is poised to spearhead a paradigm shift in Nigeria’s tourism landscape.

“As the nation embraces diversification strategies, the tourism industry stands as a beacon of opportunity, poised to drive economic growth, foster cultural exchange, and showcase Nigeria’s rich heritage to the world,” the Tourism minister stressed.

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Earlier, the association, through Victor Nze, its president, commended Ade-John for the inclusive dialogue fostered through the interactive session.

Nze, in addition, reiterated ANJET’s commitment towards collaborating with the Ministry, and its programmes aimed at driving growth, development and sustainability of private sector businesses and operations in the country.

“We commend you for hosting this interactive meeting. It has indeed answered many questions and cleared as many doubts also as to the activities at the ministry so far.

“We assure you of our continued support for your programmes, which we believe are geared towards lifting the industry and its operators. We remain partners in progress, and we will back you in that direction,” the ANJET president told the minister.

The meeting also served to address and highlight some niggling challenges being encountered by the minister, especially in the execution of her programmes at the ministry, including logistics and legislative bottlenecks, which she, however, enthused would be overcome soon, in order for her newly-established ministry to be fully functional.

The Federal Ministry of Tourism was established in August last year after many years of functioning under an expansive Ministry of Culture, Tourism and National Orientation, which was subsequently reorganized in 2015 to become the Ministry of Information and Culture.