Friday, November 24, 2017 11:01 pm
The Federal Government on Friday challenged culture and tourism managers to place priority on packaging the nation’s tourism products for global marketing attraction.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this at the 9th edition of the National Council on Tourism, Culture and National Orientation in Dutse, Jigawa.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Council is the apex policy and advisory body on matters relating to culture, tourism and national orientation.
Mohammed noted that managers of culture and tourism in the three tiers of government must develop their products to globally acceptable standards to attract market.
“I want to posit here that a major challenge facing our tourism industry is the need for packaging into products that can be marketed and sold.
“We leave things to nature too much in this part of the world and that holds no value,” he said.
The Minister also called on the tourism managers to make necessary efforts to develop their products and tourism sites in partnership with domestic and international private sector.
He said it was also important to streamline programmes and festivals in order to strategise and synchronize them for effective participation.
He reiterated that the Federal Government, in its effort to diversify the economy, had recognised the Creative Industry, of which culture and tourism are integral parts.
Mohammed said the sector was key to creating jobs and wealth and foreign exchange, as reflected in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 to 2020.
He said in its bid to reposition the sector, the Government had established 14 Cultural Industry Centres with necessary facilities across the six geo-political zones.
The Minister charged states and local governments to leverage their unique culture and tourism products to generate income and create jobs.
Mohammed thanked the Jigawa state government for hosting the event and tasked participants to evolve more enduring and viable policies and programmes capable of taking Nigeria to the next economic level.
The state Governor, Malam Badaru Abubakar underscored the need for the country to take the advantages of its diversity with nearly 300 different culture and 1,000 languages and dialects in developing the sector.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Abdulkadir Fanini, the governor urged the Council to reflect on the Indian example where culture and tradition were projected through the film industry for deserved foreign exchange.
NAN reports that the event was attended by Heads of Parastatal Agencies in the Federal Ministry of Culture, State Commissioners of Culture and Tourism and other stakeholders from the private sector.