Secretary to Government of the Federation (SGF), Mr Boss Mustapha has called for synergy in the tourism and transport sectors to further boost the nation’s economy.
Mustapha said this at the opening ceremony of the 3rd International Tourism Transport Summit and Expo in Abuja.
Mustapha, who was represented by Mr Olakunle Fasina, the Director, Public Affairs and Bilateral Relations, explained that the sectors were critical to the economic diversification agenda of the government.
Mustapha said it was necessary to explore the potent synergy and collaboration between the two sectors for maximum economic benefits of the country as a way to overcome the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
“The synergy between government and the private sector is a healthy development in the efforts of this administration to support and carry the private sector along in repositioning the economy through a public private partnership (PPE).
“This partnership couldn’t come at a better time than now when the world economy has come under the greatest threat of our time occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic that has dealt on all sectors of the global economy,” he said.
He said it was not by error but a deliberate effort to grow the two industries for better performance.
According to him, road transportation is at the heart of tourism development and provides substantial economic benefits for all involved in the tourism value chain.
Mustapha said that the summit would further strengthen the links between both sectors.
He said it would also maximise its impacts on employment, inclusive growth and sustainable development of the economy.
In his remarks, the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, said that there was need to continuously strive to diversify the economy through repositioning tourism and transportation connectivity and mobility for economic growth.
Sirika described tourism a global competitive business, adding that no part of the world could develop without a vibrant multi-modal transportation network including a national carrier.
According to him, such multi-modal transportation will make tourism to play its rightful role of job creation, revenue generation, foreign exchange earnings and entrepreneurial skills development for the teaming youths.
Also, the Minister of state FCT, Mrs Tijjani Aliyu, represented by Mr Kelvin Ike, acknowledged that it was transport that drove destination branding.
She said that transportation was a tool for a successful took-off of the tourism sector.
“We have transport secretariat because all transport is linked and it is transport that plays a vital role in destination branding that makes exclusive transportation,” she said.
Aliyu said she was in support to tourism development as it had contributed to the economic growth of the country.
The President, Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITP), Mr Abiodun Odusanwo, said that the need to connect tourism and transportation was to bridge the divide.
He further stated that the essence of any economy was the benevolence of connectivity for a joint thought of using transportation and tourism for economic growth.
Odusanwuo said there was need for all sectors of the economy to synergise, noting that without good roads and security, tourism would not thrive.
The summit which opened on Monday continues on Wednesday.