By Idowu Abdullahi,
In a bid to ensure tourism sector in Nigeria is giving needed boost and support, the Federal Government has revealed that it was planning to partner Lagos State Government to put in place adequate understanding such that would make the nation becomes a destination of choice for tourists.
The apex government noted that such move would increase foreign income generation, as well as multiply growth indexes in the State by developing more business and employment opportunities for Lagosians.
The Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Folorunsho Coker, explained that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was geared towards ensuring growth and wellbeing of all states of the federation, with view to job creation for Nigeria’s teeming youth population, and wealth creation through the tourism sector.
Speaking during Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, courtesy visit to the agency’s office in Abuja, yesterday, Coker lauded the state’s initiative to capitalize on its natural resources and traditional heritage as basis for promoting tourism, just as he called on other state governments to emulate Lagos.
Coker reiterated the need for states to collaborate with FG to effectively tap into tourism potentials, which she stated could serve as new oil boom for localities, regions and the nation in general, adding that both levels of government were expected to gain benefits from the collaborations.
While commending effort of Lagos state government in areas of city growth and beautification, the NTDC-DG expressed her desire to work with the State, saying that its track records were visible and had paved way for successful collaborations between both governments.
“When the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government come together on a project, success is guaranteed. It is like saying when both parties clap, the whole of Africa will hear,”
“Tourism has huge revenue generating potential and it is good for government at all levels to come together and tap optimum benefits of these potential,’’ Coker said.
On Akinbile-Yusuf’s part, she assured that her ministry, through the collaboration, would re-position the state’s tourism sector and in extension, reach out to major tourism stakeholders in Africa for the benefit of the nation.
According to her, Lagos state was prepared to take advantage of the collaboration in showcasing creativity of its citizens, and to reevaluate and refine the sector to surpass expectations of local and international tourists.
“This collaboration will provide us with the opportunity to further market Lagos as a must-visit destination in Africa and the world,”
“Lagos State is prepared to collaborate with NTDC in areas that will give recognition to creative arts and tourism development. We aim for our State to be a preferred destination for business, leisure and entertainment”.