The Chief Executive Officer, Dvine Travels and Tours Bureau Ltd, Ibadan, Alhaji Olumuyiwa Salami has urged the Federal and State Governments to develop tourist sites in Nigeria to attract tourists.
Olumuyiwa made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan on Monday.
He said that there was the need for the government to partner with the private sector to develop tourist sites in the country, adding that most of them had become moribund.
“Sites such as: Bowers Tower Ibadan, Ogun River, Osun Groove, Obudu Mountain Resort, National War Museum, Sukur Kingdom, and Kano wall among others really need to be developed for us to thrive in tourism.
“It is time for us to focus more on the tourism sector because of its numerous potential, most of our foregone festivals like the national masquerade need to be held often.
“Such cultural programmes should often be in our country, because tourists, and foreigners love them and it will surely attract them.
“The Federal Government should work together with the National Council for Arts and Culture, and state governments should at least make sure that they develop a tourist site in their state before their tenure lapses,” he said.
Salami, who is also the National Publicity Secretary, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, urged the Federal Government to provide personnel of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) at the country’s borders adequate forex to cushion the problem of foreign exchange.
“Travelers passing through the boarders will always change money, so they should change our visa policy so that people will be able to come into the country.
“Also, if our tourism sector is well harnessed, it will make a lot of income for us, Nigerians need to be putting on our native attire when they travel abroad, rather than the English ones.
“Such things will certainly showcase our culture, and our coastline should be made clean to attract foreign tourists; this will earn us a lot of foreign exchange,” Salami said.
He further stressed the need for the country to develop its arts and crafts as they were veritable resources and served as tools in promoting national unity and even job creation.
The CEO advised the Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism not to focus on information alone but also on tourism, adding that tourism creates quick revenue more than mineral resources.
“They can have capacity building for Tourist Guides, that will also create employment; in fact, the collapse of oil is a gift from heaven.
“Now is the time we need to focus on low hanging fruits such as tourism, it can really give us money instantly if we work on our policies and harness its potential,” he said.
Salami said his company had travelled abroad to market tourist sites in Nigeria, as part of efforts to contribute to the growth of the country’s tourism sector.
“We do that often and the foreigners are willing to come but our domestic tourism should be working fine for the international one to follow suit,” he said.