A former House of Representative member and Chairman Project Tourism Committee, Hon. Ned Nwoko, has offered to sponsor 100 tourism investors willing to visit Nigeria for exploration of Nigerian tourism potentials.
Nwoko announced this at a dinner in honour of visiting Miami Dade Trade Mission to Nigeria organized by Linas International Ltd. in collaboration with Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) in Abuja.
Nwoko, who expressed delight for the visit of the Miami delegation, said Nigeria is blessed with huge tourism potentials yet untapped and requires synergy with rich tourism destinations like Miami to fully exploit her own resources. He urged the visitors to disregard the stereotype usually placed on Nigeria as bad country and look towards the huge tourism potentials the country is endowed with.
As his way of supporting Nigerian tourism sector, he promised to sponsor 100 foreigners willing to come to Nigeria for tourism exploration next year. "Nigeria is not as bad as you read. Some of you who have been here two or three times will testify to this. We will encourage this coming together even as we form the synergy to partner in area of tourism.
"The synergy will be like lottery kind of situation, where I want to sponsor 100 non-Nigerians to the country next year as my own contribution to tourism sector. I will bring in people from the private sector to do their own. We have about 100 Nigerians to do this and we are sure this will widen the scope of tourism in Nigeria," he assured.
In her remarks, the Director General of NTDC, Mrs. Mariel Rae-Omoh, said any effort by government to diversify the economy without tourism sector would amount to nothing, considering the huge tourism potentials that abound in across the 36 states and the FCT which hold great economic benefits.
Tourism is not just one of the most resourced based sectors of the economic but unites people from different cultural backgrounds every day through travelling in this globalization era. In line with this, the NTDC has lined up, Slave Trade relics in Badagary, Ojukwu War museum in Unuahia, Yankari Game reserve in Bauchi, Kainji National Park, among others.
To make them become more relevant, she said that the NTDC had set up a plan to upgrade them into world class status in line with the world best practice.
In his address, the leader of Miami Dade Mission to Nigeria and Vice Mayor, City of Miami Gardens, Florida USA, Erhabor Ighodaro said their visit to Nigeria was to keep a linkage with Nigeria on how best to explore the rich tourism potentials of the two countries.
Ighodaro said their visit was basically aimed at seeking for possible areas of collaboration with Nigeria and how Nigeria could tap from the Miami's multicultural jewels. He further assured his hosts that the relationship between Miami and Nigeria on tourism exploration would be mutual and beneficial to all.