Mr Rabo Saleh,the National President of Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria(FTAN) says that Nigeria’s tourism sector, if properly harnessed would boost its economy.
Saleh told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in an interview on Thursday in Abuja that priority should be given to tourism sector to utilize its economic benefits.
The FTAN president noted that for the country to maximise its tourism potentials, the sector had to be given priority by government at all levels and relevant stakeholders.
“Tourism is one of the key ingredients that we need to turn the Nigeria economy around, so we need to give tourism priority.
“Although we did not get what will want, the truth is that we thought President wanted to do an expansion on the Ministries.
“We thought tourism is to be given a priority but unfortunately it was not so.
“It is still the same information and culture so our expectation is that we want continuity and improvement from the minister based on what he had done before.
” We want tourism to be given priority, recognition and to be funded so that its impart can be felt in the economy,” he said.
Saleh noted that as the Nigeria seeks diversification of her economy, tourism was a key sector, besides Agriculture, to develop.
According to him, the number of people that will contributes to the Gross Domestic Product(GDP) from the sector, in terms of employment, both skilled and unskilled labour will be increased.
He appealed to Federal Government to take a critical steps in bringing stakeholders together to do the needful in order for tourism to thrive in the country.
Saleh assured that FTAN as an umbrella body of private sector tourism operators was ready to work with government, adding that with unity of purpose, Nigeria tourism sector could be moved to the ‘next level’.