The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, says that the Federal Government has demonstrated political will to drive sustainable tourism.
A statement by his Special Adviser, Mr Segun Adeyemi, on Friday in Abuja, said that Mohammed made the remark at a panel of African Ministers of Tourism, which met on the sidelines of UN Conference on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco.
Mohammed explained that the demonstration of political will was showcased in the revival of the Presidential Council on Tourism (PCT) by President Muhammadu Buhari to drive the development of tourism in the country.
He said that already, the Steering Committee of the PCT had met to prepare its agenda and would meet with the president soon.
Mohammed said that for tourism to be sustainable, it must first be put on a sound footing, adding that was what informed government’s massive investment in infrastructural development such as roads, rail and power.
He also said that since tourism could not thrive without security, transparency and good infrastructure, government had improved security drastically, especially in the North-East where Boko Haram had been decimated.
According to him, the government also put a lot of premium on transparency, which is required for boosting investors’ confidence and encouraging tourism.
“The fight against corruption has been ratcheted up, and no one is deemed to be a sacred cow as far as the fight is concerned.
”With all modesty, the present administration in my country has been working hard to move tourism from the margins to the mainstream,” he said.
The minister maintained that Nigeria “has a rich diversity in our culture and tourism sector.
”We have so much that the world would want to see. We have stories that the world wants to hear.
”But, the challenge for us is to leverage our huge diversity to make tourism the next oil in Nigeria.”