“Nigeria Needs A Separate Ministry For ‘Culture And Tourism”, Tourism Expert, Prince Femi Fadina
The Chairman of Ado-Odo/Ota tourism committee and one of the speakers of 2019 world tourism conference held in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, Prince Femi Fadina has reiterated the need for Nigeria to have a separate ministry to accommodate tourism and culture as the sole panacea for harnessing the potentials inherent in the sector.
While speaking on the topic, ‘Tourism and jobs, a better future for all’, Prince Fadina said, ‘Ogun state is one of the few states in Nigeria that has shown a definite understanding of the potential inherent in tourism by deservedly dedicating a full ministry to it – the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’ and that Nigeria should borrow a leaf from Ogun state by creating a ‘Ministry of Culture and Tourism’ as against the Ministry of ‘Culture and Information’ which the country currently have, if the country was to create more jobs for its citizens.
He emphasized that ‘culture is the content and tourism is the vehicle that carries it to the world. What tourism sells is the culture of a people, that which defines them’.
Prince Fadina said Nigeria is the homestead of lots of tourist attractions that can host a dense number of people from across the globe, citing religious tourism as instance. ‘We gave the world the Celestial Church of Christ. We are home to the largest Christian congregations in the world. What can we generate from this as a country compare to what Saudi Arabia or Israel generates as income’.
“Tourism is our God given crude oil. Can we find the will power to mine it, refine it and prosper our people by it? Should we find the will power to strengthen tourism, we would invariably significantly increase our (IGR) internally generated revenue. Should we find the will power to unleash our tourism potentials, we invariably open a sesame of rapid development, massive job creation and ultimately, prosperity of our dear state”.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia recently granted tourist VISA permission to 49 countries, which included; Canada, America, most of Europe but Nigeria was not listed among the country listed to benefit from the travel policy recently introduced by Saudi Arabia, despite the large turn out of Nigerians to Mecca yearly.
With 79, 000 pilgrims visiting Mecca yearly from the country, Nigeria is the 8th country with the highest number of religious tourists in the world behind Indonesia, Pakistan, Indian, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran and Turkey.