Could Tourism be the new oil well in Nigeria?

 

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by Damilola Oshifowora

With Nigeria plunging into recession that is said to last at least five years, it’s no wonder a percentage increase in Nigerians are looking inward to solve this unending economic battle. We’ve seen the government begin to increase investments in other sectors after different explorations, the major ones being Agriculture & SMEs, to name a few. However recently, we’ve seen the government begin to dip it’s whole leg into Tourism. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the 2016 World Tourism Day, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said; “The Federal Government is working day and night to pull Nigeria out of recession and put the country’s economy on the path of sustainable growth. It is becoming increasingly clear, like President Muhammadu Buhari has admonished, that we must think outside of the box. We must find other sustainable means of earning foreign exchange outside of oil to grow our country’s GDP and create jobs for our people. While Agriculture and Mining are a few viable options, Tourism is the low hanging fruit in this regard and we must not hesitate to pluck it.”

 

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If there’s one key thing to take away from this speech, it is that culture and tourism is a necessary and strategic decision that would enhance the prospects of diversifying revenue generation channels of the country for the development and growth of the national economy. With the likes of Obudu cattle ranch, Olumo rock, Badagry’s firsts, Kano city sites and the soon to be Eko Atlantic as top sights in the tourism sector, we think Nigeria has the potential to make it’s Tourism sector into a revenue generating channel for the economy. But can the Tourism sector become the new oil well?

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