A tourism expert, Dr Momoh Kabir, has called on the Nigerian government to invest in improving capacity of personnel and massive infrastructure across tourist sites in the country.
Kabir, Director-General (D-G) of National Institute for Hospitality and Tourism (NIHOTOUR) made the call in Abuja.
The DG assured that Nigeria was blessed with investible tourist sites across its length and breadth that only required expertise and modern infrastructure to reap their benefits.
“In the short term, we need to intensify capacity building by professionalising tourism and hospitality.
“You require skills and knowledge to drive this industry. Infrastructure and facility will not speak for themselves; it is manpower that will drive the sector.
” Proper tour packaging is essential and we need professional tour guides to take visitors around when they come.
” There is also need for cooperation and integration among the various players in the industry. And we need modern infrastructure.
“There are tourist sites across the length and breadth of Nigeria but we need good roads to access them.
We need constant power supply to attract tourists to the sites and hotels,” he said.
He assured that with proper harnessing, the tourism sector could boost the nation’s economy and even displace crude oil as a revenue earner.
” Tourism is an industry that can drive the nation’s economy if properly harnessed.
“Government’s policy on tourism should also be more liberal to attract more players,” he said.
Kabir advised state governments to also play pivotal roles in making their tourist destinations attractive to boost internally generated revenue.
” Most states in Nigeria have tourism facilities. They need to increase awareness within their states, and carry the communities along. Communities should not be underrated,” he advised.