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Tourism remains major contributor to Nigeria’s economy says Minister

Edem Duke, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, on Thursday said that tourism remained a critical contributor to Gross Product (GDP) of major economies.
Duke, who stated this when he hosted Mr Yahuma Obika, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Trinidad and Trimago to Nigeria, in Calabar said that Nigeria was an industry beneficiary.

He expressed the desire of his ministry to continue to collaborate with the Cross River Government to maximise the potentials of tourism to boost its economy.

The Minister also donated N20 million to the state government to sustain and move the Calabar Carnival 2012 forward while lauding the hosting of the various Carnivals across the country to boost Nigeria’s tourism potentials.

According to him, it will afford the different segments of the society including the youth and the women the opportunity to explore their creative abilities.

``We are almost like 37 countries all in one and, therefore, you cannot limit the expression of people’s creativity; in fact, we want to encourage as many more because it engages our youth.  It takes them off the street, reduces restiveness and provides a platform where
political, traditional and religious leaders, the youth, women and children converge for a common goal,’’ he said.

In his remarks, Obika recalled the existing cultural ties between Nigeria and his country and sued for its sustenance for mutual benefits and described 2012 Calabar Carnival as unique and capable of turning around the economy of the state.


The nation's tourism destination,
Cross river state...

Mr. Minister, the carnivals are periodic things. For tourism to have an impact, it must be available every day and at anytime. Does your ministry have a blueprint for developing ports that can receive cruise ships? Are you talking with other ministers in the West African sub-region to develop cruise destinantions which would provide more jobs and revenue on a continuous basis. Do you have a database of truly wonderful tourist destinations such as the Slave port in Badagry, Ikogosi, Idanre, Nok Village, Obudu, Yankari, Argungun Fishing Festival, the Kano Durban etc and what they would take make them safe and attractive to tourists on day tours? There is a lot more to tourism than giving money to groups. A truly global outlook and plan is more essential.