by Collins Yakubu-hammer – Nigeria –
The Federal Government has called for effective public-private partnership in tourism and transport sectors to boost and attract revenue to the country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the call in his keynote address at the maiden edition of a two-day National Tourism and Transport Summit and Expo in Abuja.
The minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Grace Gekpe, said development of basic transportation infrastructure and the use of new technology in the sectors would speed up development of tourism.
“This is because tourism grows more when there are better transportation systems.
“Therefore, there is need for partnership between the public and private sector to ensure that the needs of tourists are well understood and articulated in order to promote both sectors,” he said.
He said that the present administration under the Economy Recovery and Growth Plan was investing massively in the sector to strengthen Nigeria’s infrastructure,” he said.
The minister explained that the transportation needs for tourism promotion and development could best be seen in the maintenance of existing roads, construction of more roads, rail track, sea and air transport.
He added that the construction of more local airports to enhance local flight operation would enhance the growth of domestic tourism.
“Today will no doubt proffer solutions that will hold both sectors and enhance strategic synergy between tourism and transportation for national growth and development,” he said.
Also speaking, Gov. Ibrahim Geidam of Yobe said the combination of tourism and transportation was a necessity, adding that discussion on tourism could not be fruitful without involving transportation.
Geidam who was represented by Alhaji Lawal Shetima, Commissioner for Transport, Works and Energy, said the state had attained 40 per cent completion of the constriction of cargo airport in the state.
“We have the Birnin Kazagamu in Yobe, but for insurgency, it would have been a good destination,” he said.
He said the government was also doing its best to key into the Federal Government effort in the diversification of the economy.
Also contributing, Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, National President, Institute for Tourism Practitioners, said the summit was made possible with the support and collaboration of Information and Culture, Transport ministries and critical stakeholders in the two sectors.
“The Summit seeks to x-ray the tourism and transportation industries of the country as a means of boosting the national economy for sustainable growth and development.
“It is also to provide the platform for regulatory and enforcement agencies, national, states and local governments to reappraise and have a better understanding of the importance of the sector,“he said..
He said that the summit would deliberate on the complex relationship between transport and tourism. (NAN)