Nigeria And UNWTO Partners To Implement Tourism Masterplan 

Pic.5. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, speaking at the Opening Ceremony of African International Film Festival in Lagos on Sunday (14/11/16) night.
8333/14/11/2016/ Oladapo Kayode/BJO/NAN

Yemisi Izuora 

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said

 his ministry is in partnership with the United Nations World Tourism

 Organisation (UNWTO) in the implementation of the National Tourism

 Development Masterplan, in order to optimally harness the country’s

 tourism potentials.

The Minister disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday when he declared

open the Fourth Tourism Investors Forum and Exhibition, organized by

the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN).

Mohammed said ongoing programmes and policies which aims at harnessing the country’s vast tourism potentials over the next one and half decades are anchored on

the National Tourism Development Masterplan, and in order to ensure its

full implementation, the Ministry sought and secured the support of

the UNWTO to assist in the implementation of the Tourism Masterplan.

The Minister, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Federal

Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe, said

pursuant to the implementation of the Masterplan, the UNWTO is already

seeking the support of some donor agencies to assist Nigeria with

funds for the execution of the project on the Strengthening of

National Tourism Statistical System and the development of a Tourism

Satellite Account for Nigeria.

He said this became necessary because lack of accurate statistics on

arrivals and receipts is one of the major problems militating against

the development of tourism in Nigeria.

Mohammed said the Ministry of Information and Culture will soon

inaugurate a National Consultative Forum that will review the

recommendations of the UNWTO Post Technical Mission Project Document,

 with membership of the Forum drawn from all critical stakeholders in

the Tourism Sector, including FTAN.

He said the private sector is critical to the development of tourism

 in the country, hence the government’s decision to build an enduring

framework for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) to provide the required

confidence for prospective investors.

The Minister said the government has fashioned out tourism investment

 incentives such as tax exemption for up to three years, export/Import

Incentives, land at concessionary rate and work permit to foreigners

with specialized skills in order to attract private sector investment.

In his remarks, the President of FTAN, Mr. Rabo Saleh, commended the

Federal Government for the construction of the Abuja-Kaduna Standard

Gauge Railway and the Abuja Light Rail, saying the provision of

infrastructure and security is critical to the development of tourism

in the country.

He appealed to the media to always avoid portraying the country in the

negative light in order not to de-market the country and scare away

 potential investors and tourists.

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