Nigerian Government has pledged to promote the country’s tourism and transportation Sectors with the aim of strengthening partnerships through well thought out policies and frameworks.
The Minister of Information & Culture, FMIC, Alhaji Lai Muhammad, made this known on Monday in Abuja at the fifth edition of the National Tourism, Transportation Summit, and Expo, the event was themed “Strengthening Connectivity Effects and Partnership”.
He went on to say that the partnership between these sectors aims to boost the country’s transportation and tourist industries, not just in Nigeria but throughout West Africa.
Lai Muhammad, speaking through his Permanent Se
cretary, Dr. Ifeoma Anyanwutaku, added that transportation plays a critical role in bridging the gap between the source market and the destination market, and that, making this connection easier will boost tourism, trade, econom
ic cooperation, and sustainability.
He said: ” Government’s role is to provide the policy framework that would encourage private investors in the right mix with a regulatory framework to ensure a good return on investments and effective forward and backward linkages in our economy.
“It will also foster the economic diversification, growth, and sustainable development of Nigeria. Participation of key stakeholders in a way will not only increase revenue at the National and Local levels but improve the quality of life and wellbeing of our people by providing business opportunities, increasing employment, and fully utilizing scientific and technological advancements for global best practices.
”Indeed the critical relationship between transport and tourism can be exemplified by the “High-level forum of development” created between the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aimed at addressing the challenges of the tourism and air transport sectors, to strengthen the common path, cooperation towards fostering strategies for inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.
”In all these, we must seek to work in partnership with public authorities and commercial transport providers, to ensure that the needs of tourists are well understood and adequately catered for sustainable tourism requires open dialogue between government, the private sector, civil society, and the host communities to promote consensual decisions and above all ts economic benefits for a broad spectrum of our people” He added.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA), said in his goodwill message that an increase in transportation and tourism could be a uniting force for the Nigerian economy, as the sector has accounted for over $1.5 billion in recent years, accounting for 0.3 percent of the total gross domestic products (GDP).
He also stated that his office will continue to work closely with various foreign industries operating in the free trade zones to ensure that they are given appropriate incentives to compete on an international level.
He further calls on the federal government to invest in adequate infrastructure to boost the country’s competitiveness in the transportation and tourism sector.
He said: ” Nigeria signed the AFRICA CONTINENTAL FREE TRADE AREA (AFCFTA) in January 2021, becoming the 34th member of the trading country. Under the AfCFTA, Nigeria stands to gain from increased access to cheaper goods and services from other African countries, as its Intra-African trade is currently low. As of 2018, Nigeria’s imports from the African region relative to total imports were at 3.2 percent while the share of Nigeria’s exports to the African region relative to total exports was 13.2 percent.”
”Therefore, the Federal Government needs to increase security surveillance and management as this would help to promote peace and stability in the country. Egypt is also another country that has significant issues with insecurity but has taken measures to curb this activity and improve its tourism, the country’s pro-active measures has turned around the tourism sector which now serves as one of the country’s national income contributing to its GDP and also rated high amongst the tourist country in Africa” He said.
ITPN Boss Spells out Purpose of Tourism Summit
Earlier in his opening remark the National president of the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), Chief Abiodun Odunsanwo said the purpose of the summit is to strengthen the liberalization of trade between two or more countries for ease of doing business in the African continent.
He added that Industrialization in technology, trade, and job creation for the people remain critical pathways to prosperity in Africa with a greater focus on a functioning economy.
”This implies that for Africa to secure social investments, the economy must function, and industrialization and trade remain the gateway. The momentous African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Agreement has entered into force and taken effect since July 2020, leading to tariff dismantlement. The real test for all participating partners is how quickly and effectively, African countries will be able to implement the agreement. Like all free trade agreements, the AfCFTA will have both positive and negative effects and create both winners and losers. At ITPN, we are interested in Nigeria as a key player, to be a greater beneficiary of the AfCFTA Agreement”
”Affirming the need for developing programs of international cooperation within the African continent as a way of improving and strengthening the basic conditions for sustainable development of Tourism Transportation industries, the International Tourism Transport Summit for 2022 seeks to deliberate on the complex relationship between transport provision and tourism in boosting the economy of the continent via a single market for goods, services, facilitated by movement of persons and to deepen the economic integration of the African continent following the Pan African Vision of An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa which AfCFTA promises to deliver.”
He assures that his organization will continue to collaborate and partner with stakeholders to boost the contribution of the Transportation and Tourism industry to the country’s economy.