Talthe Honourable Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke, rang the bell to signal the closing of the stock market on Friday, 11th October, 2013, at the Stock Exchange Building in Lagos, a ceremony that is a lifetime achievement, as exemplified by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan’s ringing of the bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) before he addressed the UN General Assembly during his recent visit to the United States of America.

Performing the ceremony, Duke expressed gratitude to the CEO of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, for the privilege to carry out the epoch-making event, adding that the synergy between the culture and tourism sector and the Nigerian Stock Exchange is heart-warming, considering the fact that it provides new frontiers for investment.

He stated that it was high time Nigeria stopped depending on its mono-economy status, considering the fact that the country is richly endowed with natural resources, among the top 25 countries in the world in flora and fauna, but yet to open tourism market outlets in parts of the world, noting that the synergy with Nigerian Stock Exchange will escalate activities in the sector and grow the economy.

Earlier, the CEO of Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr. Oscar Onyema, had commended Chief Edem Duke for his dynamic approach in bringing the culture and tourism sector to the fore in national development, saying that factoring on the importance of tourism in engendering development will go a long way in properly repositioning Nigeria as the “Giant of Africa.”

He noted that tourism and finance are inextricably linked in the sense that the growth of one positively affects the other, and vice versa, and disclosed the readiness of Nigerian Stock Exchange to partner the culture and tourism ministry, in organizing a national summit on the potentials of the culture and tourism sector, which, according to him, will be mutually beneficial.

In the Minister’s delegation were three Directors-General of parastatals in the ministry: Professor Tunde Babawale (CBAAC), Dr. Munzali Dantata (NIHOTOUR), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma (NICO), as well as his Senior Special Assistant, Mrs. Chika Balogun.

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