The Comptroller General of Immigration Service, Muhammed Babandende has urged stakeholders to initiate innovations and strategies to address the prospects and challenges in Tourism and Transportation sectors.
Babandende who was represented by Joachim Olumba, an official the service made the call at the end of a two-day National Tourism and Transportation Summit and Expo in Abuja.
According to him, it is imperative to bring strategies to help the sector against the backdrop of the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic in order to boost economic growth and development in the country.
He explained that the theme of the 3rd Edition of the summit was highly germane and in tandem with the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) of the present Administration under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, aimed at economic diversification.
He emphasised that for the sector to be competitive and maximise its tremendous multiplier effect, impediments to traveler’s safety and security at national, regional and international levels must be addressed.
He also said that it was imperative that stakeholders in the multi-sectorial industry needed to redefine their strategic plans to ensure professionalism, transparency, best practices and maintenance of resilient infrastructure which will improve on the Ease of Doing Business (E01).
“The Nigeria Immigration Service is committed to promoting international good practices while placing utmost premium on national security.
“Migration and globalisation has become a complex and hydra-headed issue, hence the Service at all times endeavor to strike a balance between safe migration at our borders and national security.
“In order to improve traveler’s safety and satisfaction, the Service has embarked on several operational and administrative reforms, the installation of Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at our various borders and introduction of Nigeria New Visa Policy 2020.
“These and other innovations are policies and programmes deliberately designed to foster regular migration and attract inflow of foreign exchange and investment on a grand scale to stimulate the national economy.
Also, Dr Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator General, National Park Service stated that the decision by the current administration to factor tourism into the national economic architecture in 2021as a means of revamping the economy gave credence to the timeliness of the summit.
Goni added that transportation in its elements was fundamental to the successful take off of the tourism sector saying that it was prerequisite for all tourism travels since it facilitates mobility and connectivity of tourist from source to destinations.
According to him, as critical Stakeholders it is imperative to strive for impact oriented solutions that will further bring to bear needed benefits to the economy.
“It is a known fact that apart from the general poor road conditions in the society, the nation inherited a transportation system and network that was skewed toward evacuation of agricultural products from the hinterland to the sea ports.
”The roads system therefore naturally bypass the tourism attraction sites in the country, aside the system skew, the very high cost of transportation, whether by land, air or sea has continued to define tourism as an affluent and elastic part-time.
“These twin problems of road architecture and cost of travel must be given the serious attention they deserve,” he said.