The Federal Ministry of Information and Culture says it will start a nationwide tour of tourism sites to asses their potentials to attract tourists.
The Minister overseeing the ministry, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this in Lagos, stressed the federal government’s commitment to developing the tourism sector.
He said the country had tourism sites in abundance that could be developed to attract local and international tourists and in turn boost the economy of the nation.
Mohammed said identified viable tourist sites would be listed for private sector development while local government areas would also be encouraged to invest in some of them.
Mohammed noted that the development of tourism was done locally in every part of the world and the function of the government was to provide the enabling environment for it to thrive.
He assured that the federal government would create the enabling environment such as legislations, infrastructure development and easy access to fund needed for its growth.
The minister said state governments will also be encouraged to pave the way for the development of tourism sites in their states.
Realising that tourism development cuts across other sectors of the economy, Mohammed said he had sent a memorandum to President Muhammad Buhari for the resuscitation of the Presidential Council on Tourism.
He said the council, to be presided over by the President, will be made up of critical stakeholders within and outside tourism sector and would formulate policies and ensure implementation.
On security, the minister said “Nigeria is safe, and even safer than many countries that have been reaping massively from tourism.
He said the government has done well in ensuring safety and security of the nation and it will not relent in its efforts to keep every part safe for investment and tourists.
The minister seized the opportunity to enjoin the media to promote the positive sides of the nation and tell the world that “Nigeria is not at war and it is safe.”