Mr Wale Ojo- Lanre, immediate past Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, on Thursday called for the creation of a sole ministry for tourism.
Ojo-Lanre, a foremost tourism promoter, while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, said this was necessary to fully harness the potential of the industry for revenue generation.
According to him, merging the tourism industry with culture and information had hindered tourism growth over the years.
He called for the establishment of a legal framework for the industry which would go a long way in boosting investors’ confidence while the industry will remain formidable and organised.
As a nation, we need to address the problems hindering the growth of tourism in Nigeria, these are lack of good legislation, no legal framework and we can not boast of 20 well developed tourism sites.
“Things should be done correctly, let us have a separate ministry for tourism, so that these problems and many more can be attended to.
There is no political will about tourism as an economic sector which should be vigorously attended to,” he said.
On the World Tourism Day celebration in Nigeria, Ojo-Lanre said Nigerians still had a long way to go in yielding bountifully from tourism.
Hr said this was because the industry had not been fully developed like in other climes.
According to him, rather than celebrating the world tourism day like other nations, tourism practitioners in Nigeria only need to work unanimously in drawing government’s attention to the pitfalls in the industry.
“Tourism practitioners in Nigeria are supposed to work together on the occasion of the world tourism day, rethink tourism in a sober and reflective mood.
“We should not rejoice over failure and continue to dance over the comatose state of tourism in luxurious and choice venues.
“We join other countries that are steadily reaping fortunes from tourism to celebrate, instead, we should engage ourselves to call attention to the parlous state of affairs of tourism in Nigeria.
We should come out with achievable strategies and a master plan of turning things over,” he said.