Ex-NTDC boss urges FG to improve funding to tourism sector
Mrs Omotayo Omotosho, a former Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), has urged the Federal Government to fully harness the huge potential in country’s tourism by improving funding to the sector.
She made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja.
Omotosho, the Chief Executive Officer of Tourism-Edge Consultant, lamented that the government for long had not been adequately funding tourism, which had resulted to the present decay in the industry.
“The funding for the sector needs to be improved. To be able to make tourism a dependable revenue earner; the government must invest in it and attract foreign investments.
“And for us to attract foreign investors there must be peace and assurance that the lives of the foreign investors are safe when they come.
“Environment also has a role to play in tourism promotion, it has to be clean. Infrastructure development is also key for tourism to attract patronage,’’ she said.
The ex-NTDC boss said that so much money had been put into electricity with the expectation that things would get better.
According to Omotosho, there is still no electricity to make tourism thrive.
She also emphasised that transportation was critical to the attraction of tourists to the various sites in the country.
“When I talk about transportation, it is not road transport alone, it is multi model, that is, air, sea and land, all must be working effectively.
“Nigerians should cultivate the habit of touring within Nigeria which we call domestic tourism, unfortunately, what we are experiencing is outbound tourism, they go to London, Dubai, South Africa, and America.
“Why don’t our people go to have their wedding receptions at Obudu Cattle Ranch’’ she said.
She said that every geopolitical region of the country had its own tourist sites with potential.
“Government should invest more and the private sector should also contribute their quota to the utmost development of the sector to attract tourists to generate revenue,’’ she said.