President - Local Talents to Developing Nigeria's Tourism

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President - Local Talents to Developing Nigeria's Tourism

Postby Richard Akindele » Sat Apr 22, 2006 3:22 pm

President Olusegun Obasanjo has spoken of Nigeria having abundant domestic talents to develop its tourism potentials and should not look elsewhere.

The President made the observation at a meeting of the Presidential Council on Tourism to review the draft Tourism Master Plan held at the State House on 19 April.

Stressing that developing attractive tourist sites required more of imagination, interest and creativity than huge funds, the President noted that such projects would attract international support "once they know that you are serious and can vouch for your integrity and credibility".

Highlighting "the little things which matter a lot to tourists", such as speedy issuance of visas and courtesies at immigration desks at airports, President Obasanjo said that the Culture and Tourism Ministry in conjunction with some state governments were already training tour guides who would be in charge of "packaged tours".

President Obasanjo urged stakeholders to study the draft master plan carefully and make input before the next meeting of the Presidential Council on Tourism mid-May.

He expressed hope that by the end of May, the draft would have passed through the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and the National Council of States (NCS) and the country would begin the implementation of the Tourism Master plan.

Speaking on behalf of their colleagues, the Ondo and Nasarawa State Governors, Dr. Olusegun Agagu and Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, commended President Obasanjo's commitment to developing tourism while the Culture and Tourism Minister, Chief Frank Ogbuewu, noted that every part of the country was covered in the draft Tourism Master Plan.

Goals in the master plan include the following:

To identify tourist sites such as beaches, historic sites, conference centres, forest reserves, etc

. To develop "clusters of tourist sites" around the country.

The Tourism Council meeting was attended by governors, ministers and stakeholders in the hospitality industry from the private sector.
Richard Akindele
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