Ogun Losing Over $5b In Tourism To Bad Roads- Awori Tourism Board Chairman, Prince Femi Fadina
The Chairman, Awori Tourism Board, Prince Adetunji Femi Fadina has lamented the huge loss of internally generated revenue amounting to over N5bn which the Ogun state government is losing from tourism as a result of terrible road conditions in the state.
Prince Fadina made this known during a press conference titled, ‘Poor Infrastructure, An Impediment to Tourism in Awori land’, held in Ota on Tuesday.
While addressing members of press, prince Fadina stressed that Nigeria is endowed with numerous tourism attraction sites that spread across the country, but bemoaned terrible states of roads to access the attraction sites as an impediment.
“Nigeria is endowed with numerous tourism attraction sites spread across the country. Road transportation within Nigeria and good road infrastructure is required for smooth and safe motor vehicle transportation. As such, a good transportation network is imperative for promoting tourism in Nigeria. Although, Nigeria has expansive road networks, they are in very poor conditions because of the extent of damage and lack of maintenance and are mostly not motor vehicle conducive.
These impediments affect tourism in Nigeria and consequently impacting on the country’s growth and development”.
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He said that ‘road transportation is expected to enhance cultural, economic, and social interactions, but unfortunately, the road infrastructure and facilities are deplorable and consequently, impact the growth of tourism sector in Nigeria’.
Emphasizing the products of tourism, he said that, ‘tourism has become a popular global leisure activity, which is a service based industry consisting of a number of tangible and intangible elements’. He listed the tangible elements to include, ‘transportation, accommodation and tourist sites while the intangible elements as education, culture and relaxation’.
Responding to question raised by VOA News correspondent on how much the state government is losing to tourism as a result of deplorable road conditions, Prince Fadina said that, ‘huge amount of money up to the tune of $5bn is being lost annually if the government fails to put the roads leading to tourist attraction sites into shape.
Prince Fadina exonerated Prince Dapo Abiodun’s led administration from the terrible states of the roads, while lamenting negligence by past administration on state owned roads.
“I am not going to blame the state government for the poor state of roads in this state, rather, I would blame the last administration who deliberately ignored the yellings of the people to fix the roads. The administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun and Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele is just few months old and have been busy with curbing the covid-19 pandemic. So, we can’t blame them”.
While urging residents and people of Ogun state to be patient with the governor, he expressed confidence in the administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun to give the state a facelift during his first 4-years tenure in office. “I cannot say that the last administration intentionally destroyed OTA, I believe the Prince Dapo Abiodun MFR administration will be different. Let us all wait till after the rain”.
He advised the federal ministry of works to fix federal roads in Ogun and Lagos state axis in order to enable easy accessibility of tourism attraction centres which will boost the internally generated revenue of the country and the state.