Buhari’ll accord tourism its right of place —Babafemi Ojudu

The tourism and culture sector of the Nigerian economy will be accorded proper attention in the next dispensation of President Muhammadu Buhari if elected for the second term.

Senator Babafemi Ojudu, Special Adviser to the Presidency on Political Matters, who made this known to Tribune Tourism and Travel at the palace of the Ooni of Ife  during the visit of Vice -President Yemi Osinbajo gave an insight into the fact that the presidency is thinking positively about tourism.

Senator Ojudu said: “The presidency has taken note of the points raised in your article, ‘No presidential candidate is talking tourism and I am telling you that  President Muhammed Buhari, the APC presidential candidate, has not only discussed about tourism with his economic think tank, but he will also be offering the nation a comprehensive tourism sector reformation which will bring tourism development into the front burner of national attention if elected for the second term.”

He pointed out: “President Muhammadu Buhari may have not talked public by on the campaign platform or podium about tourism, but has gone far by having a special package for the rejuvenation of the sector in accordance with the aim of enhancing it as another potent revenue generation source for the government and people of Nigeria.  It is not true that President Buhari or the APC is not thinking about tourism.  The fact is that the president sees tourism as part of the core economic sectors which will be given proper attention in the next dispensation after the election must have been won.”

“I am assuring you all that tourism and culture will be one of the sectors which will reap bountifully at the second coming of President Muhammadu Buhari.  It will receive the needed attention which the solid minerals sector had received and still receiving. The president understands fully the import of tourism as the deliverance of low hanging fruits of prosperity and economic empowerment. Its capacity to create employment and mobilize wealth at the grass roots will be fully explored after the planting of the fundamentals,” Ojudu added.

“Tourism has been included in the core sector economic blueprint which will be unveiled to the nation if President Buhari is re-elected. However, it must also be noted that the merging of the tourism and culture ministry was not done out of wishful thinking or failure to comprehend the essence of tourism,   but was forced on the nation by the critical dearth of fund   predicated by the economic recession,” the president’s aide said.

He assured: “Tourism stakeholders, practitioners, sectoral players and all those who are members of the tourism family will be happy by the reformation which will be carried out in the sector. The sector will receive political as well as legislative  engineering to create a conducive and transparent environment for all to enjoy the goodies of the tourism sector.” He revealed: “One of the fundamental challenges bedevilling the tourism sector is the absence of proper and strong legislation needed to serve as the foundation for growth and advancement. Thus some of the critical steps taken in time past were truncated because of lack of legal backing. The president has taken note of this and will ensure the institutionalisation of the legal framework for the building of a strong and viable tourism sector.”

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