*Says govt council on ease of doing business benefits Nigerian tourism
By Florence Israel, Abuja
The Nigerian Government has announced a tripartite partnership plan involving the United Nations World Tourism Organization [UNWTO], The Cable Network News (CNN) and the Nigeria’s Ministry of Information and Culture, to promote tourism in the country through the Nollywood industry.
The Honourable Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, relayed this plan which he pointed out to be at advanced stage, while speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) in Lagos on Tuesday.
According to the Minister, this is meant to forge “very strong and effective partnership to use our comparative advantage in film production, through Nollywood, to promote tourism in Nigeria.”
”This is a path we have not trodden before, but which we are sure will go a long way in making it possible for us to push tourism from the back-burner to the mainstream of the economy,” Alhaji Mohammed said, adding that more details of the partnership will be provided in the days ahead”.
While appealing to the Tourism stakeholders to work with the Federal Government to ensure the success of the 2018 UNWTO meeting which Nigeria won it’s hosting rights in Addis Ababa last month, the Minister said, “As many of you are aware, Nigeria recently won the right to host the annual UNWTO CAF Meeting in Abuja in 2018. Yes, this is not the first time Nigeria will be hosting this meeting, but this time we must leverage on the meeting as a platform to promote Nigeria as a preferred tourism destination.”
Alhaji Lai Mohammed also urged the private sector to partner with the Federal Government in order to grow the industry and provide the required skills and competencies for growth and progress.
“Stakeholders are also invited to package and promote Nigerian destinations, goods and services. This will create direct and indirect employment through tourism, grow the economy, increase the national GDP, position Nigeria as an all-year-round tourism destination and establish a worthwhile acceptable and recognizable image of the country among tourists. Let us all tour Nigeria. Let us all consume more of made in Nigeria. Let us all know more of our heritage. Let us all celebrate Nigeria,” he said.
The Information and Culture Minister also noted that the Federal Government had set up a presidential council on the ease of doing business as part of their efforts to improve Nigeria’s ranking on the Tourism Competitive index on the World Travel and Tourism index.
He also disclosed that the council has completed in 60 days, 31 reforms across its 80 priority indicators in areas such as simplified Visa on Arrival Process, Infrastructural improvements at the Abuja Airport and the new immigration regulation 2017.