NIGERIA’S QUEST FOR DIVERSIFICATION OF ITS ECONOMY, tourism is one ambitious sector being touted by the government as veritable for revenue generation. President Buhari, represented by Lai Mohammed, Information and Culture Minister, restated this at the launch of Heritage Bikers Tour of Nigeria.
“LAMA Bikers, though citizens of different nations of the world including Brazil, Mexico, USA, Puerto Rico, South Africa, but are joined together by a common desire to promote heritage and tourism in nations that welcome them. Nigeria has welcomed them in line with our ambition to make tourism a veritable income earner for this nation”.
Buhari added: “I am very pleased at this laudable initiative birthed by the National Commission of Museums and Monuments of Nigeria, NCMM”. The tour would take local and international biking group, led by LAMA Bikers, to museums, monuments and heritage sites in 11 states of the federation.
Three years into Buhari’s government, that placed generation of revenue through tourism among six-point agenda of his administration, Nigeria seemed, evidently, unprepared for earning revenue through the tourism sector. Tourism and adequate development of infrastructure in the sector are inextricably tied.
A country’s tourism destinations need to be adequately developed and made source of national pride to visitors and investors. If not, efforts and talks about attracting tourists to the country will be an illusion. To this extent, Nigeria’s tourism policy makers and managers merely engage in talk-shows on tourism, than actually and seriously articulating and executing plans to earn revenue through tourism.
Alhaji Abdulkerim Kadiri, Acting Director-General, National Commission of Museum and Monuments of Nigeria, NCMM, sees it differently. In his vote of thanks at the launch of Heritage Bikers Tour of Nigeria, expressed gratitude to President Buhari for what he sees as “his clear vision” for placing generation of revenue through tourism among six-point agenda of his administration.
Kadiri also commended Nigeria’s Minister for Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, for his keen interest in the project and effort to promote tourism in Nigeria using national cultural heritage. He said: “Today, we are living witnesses to the renaissance that he has for long championed”.
Kadiri thanked First Entertainment Company, Lumazio Production and Entertainment, Jordan FM, Federal Inland Revenue Services, and parastatals present, including media houses that supported the event.
“We are bold to add that our quest and desire to re-brand the NCMM with this project is a decision in the right direction. This project shall be an annual event so we appeal to all and sundry to join hands with us. Also to use this project and others that will soon come on board in making Nigeria one of the most important tourism destinations in the world,” Kadiri said.