17 April 2016
I believe this statement has been made for many years, too many times than any Nigerian can remember. We know the nation cannot continue to depend solely on revenue from crude oil, but what is the nation’s readiness to a vast diversification?
It is no lie that we have untapped resources in culture and tourism, but how sustainable has that really been? In a statement culled from Guardian Nigeria online, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated that “the government has identified culture and tourism as the next goldmine for Nigeria, as government moves to diversify from crude oil earnings.” Is this something we are really just coming to know?
He further said that “the Federal Government will hold a national summit on culture and tourism in Abuja from April 27 to 29, to bring together stakeholders to brainstorm on how the two sectors, can effectively become money spinners for the country, create jobs and showcase Nigeria’s cultural diversity and tourist attractions.” How many times will these meetings be done to realize what the real problem is?
Our tourist points are in shambles, even visiting them a Nigerian, you can see the poorly maintained tourist sites. If I as a citizen I felt robbed after visiting a tourist point, feeling I have paid to see a disappointment, how much more a foreign tourist who might not just be visiting as a fun seeker but as a prospective investor.
For one, I think that is even going to far, no one would very much want to step foot into the country after reading the different news publications about Nigeria. No one wants to get abducted in the name of visiting a “waterfall” or a “resort”.
Our government needs to understand that every country that is buoyant right now is giving a huge focus to their creative index – they find more innovative ways to reinvent and create platforms to engage a lot of people, hence generating more revenue. The issue with Nigeria is, we want to keep running with the old ways, the old ways that aren’t working for us anymore.
I quite agree and believe my thoughts on a national summit is solidly reflected in a comment by a reader with the name Domnze. He says “National summit on culture and tourism: is this not another waste of resources? You don’t talk about tourism in the face of high-level insecurity due to Boko Haram, kidnapping, and killings by herdsmen, lack of electric power, fuel and extreme cost of living. The summit should be on how to alleviate the hardship in the land.”
What do you think the government needs to focus on in tourism?