By Taiye Olayemi
The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has advised the Federal Government to consider putting tourism on the concurrent list instead of the residual list, to ensure proper exploration of the sector.
The National President of FTAN, Mr Nkereuwem Onung, gave the advice on Thursday during the 26th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association in Abuja.
The AGM’s theme titled “Tourism Today and Tomorrow: Setting the Agenda for the New Administration” and the sub theme: “Community involvement in Tourism Development: Building Partnerships for Sustainable Tourism”.
Onung said that tourism ought to be on the concurrent list to position the sector for more feasibility.
“In our effort to set the agenda for the new administration, we wants the new government to consider putting tourism on concurrent list instead of the residual list.
“We are aware that tourism is on the residual list, which should not be, considering the fact it is the veritable tool for our economic transformation given the dwindling revenue from oil in Nigeria .
“The 2013 Supreme Court judgment has not helped matters,” Onung said.
He said that that the states could productively work with the national government to use tourism as a tool of transformation.
FTAN president also called for the creation of a Ministry of Culture and Tourism, separate from the Ministry of Information and Culture as obtainable presently.
According to him, tourism should not remain as a department in the ministry of information and culture.
Onung expressed FTAN’s readiness to midwife a robust relationship between the states and various federal agencies responsible for tourism development in Nigeria.
He said the association had put in place a team of experts to collaborate with the states on hotel registration classification and grading.
He said the team would also collaborate with states on Tourism Master Plan; Eco Tourism Infrastructure; Destination Branding Community Engagement and Empowerment; and create niche tourism products among others.
Onung said FTAN had also collaborated with the Economic Community of West African States, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Chambers of Commerce and embassies to deepen various advocacy programmes to boost tourism in Nigeria.
“We will also work with the Federal government through the Ministries Departments and Agencies in innovative tourism development. We will work with them to implement the new laws.
“We reiterate our dedication to community involvement, sustainable development, and the creation of sellable tourism products.
“Let us commit to working hand in hand to set the agenda for the new administration, ensuring that tourism continues to flourish as a driver of economic growth, cultural exchange, and national pride,” he said
Earlier, Alhaji Nura Kangiwa, Director-General, National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR), said that the Nigerian tourism industry was ready for improved states and federal government stimulus.
Kangiwa said this had necessitated the call for the creation of a stand-alone ministry of tourism.
He said the private sector and other stakeholders needed to key into opportunities provided by the 2022 NIHOTOUR Establishment Act.
He explained that the NIHOTOUR Act made statutory provision for the institute to work with FTAN and other trade or professional organisations in Nigeria.
In his remarks, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), expressed concern that the culture and tourism industries had been underrated over the years.
Runsewe, however, advised the new government to ensure the culture and tourism industries were made to exist alone, separate from information sector.
He described culture and tourism as sectors that had the capacity to reduce crime rate, engaging the youths positively.
“We all need to change our attitude towards our culture and tourism because they are the new oil,” he said. (NAN) (nannews.ng)
Edited by Dianabasi Effiongiuori/Deji Abdulwahab