I wish to express my sincere appreciation to all stakeholders present for responding to our invitation to be here today on this auspicious occasion of a workshop on the theme: “Mainstreaming Tourism into the Economic Agenda of Government: Issues and Challenges”.
- Considering the need to develop a sustainable tourism sector for the country, the Ministry thought it timely and pertinent to organize this workshop. The main objective of this programme is to create a platform for stakeholders, drawn from both the public and the private sectors to synergize on how to collectively develop promote and sustain the Nigerian Tourism Industry.
- The workshop will therefore highlight the diverse approaches and practical models and methodologies as a framework for projecting the sector as a vehicle for socio-economic growth of the country. It is also expected to identify and deliberate on the challenges and proffer solutions that will chart a new course for the tourism industry.
- Tourism is globally recognized as a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and given its potentials, tourism in the Nigerian context can sustain development. The current economic downturn as a result of the dwindling oil price in the international market further emphasize the urgent need for diversification through tourism and other major non-oil sectors. It is a priority sector for sustainable development aimed at achieving the Government’s Agenda of wealth creation, employment generation, poverty alleviation and environmental conservation.
- It is against this backdrop that you have been invited to brainstorm on how to achieve these goals and move the sector forward. I am confident that by the end of the workshop, pragmatic steps would have been fashioned out to address the challenges.
- Government will continue to create the enabling environment. To actualize this, we will partner with relevant stakeholders and the organized private sector to make Nigeria a preferred tourism destination.
- Finally, l enjoin you to be committed to the course of transforming the tourism sector towards attaining its rightful place in the economy of our dear country.
- I wish you fruitful deliberations. Thank you and God bless.