Economy diversification through tourism is now —Mbanefo

The Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mrs. Sally Uwechue-Mbanefo has made a clarion call to the government, private sector and stakeholders to diversify the economy through domestic tourism for a sustainable economic development

The Director-General made this declaration during a presentation at the 46th Annual Accountants’ Conference held in Abuja recently tagged ‘Beyond Oil: Harnessing Nigeria’s Resources for National Development.’

She said “Now is the right time for government to diversify from a mono economy of crude oil to a multi-dimensional economy that is tourism based through a pragmatic tourism policy, there is need to develop an encompassing tourism policy if it is to be sustainable, equitable and responsive so as to contribute more to the country’s economic development and in effect raise the quality of life of all people.”

Chief Mbanefo further stressed the need for Nigerians to promote and patronise our local products, adding that only Nigerians can sell Nigeria within and in the diaspora.

“My domestic tourism campaign is focused on encouraging Nigerians to travel within the country and experience the superb weather, unique festivals such as the Durbar in the North, Osun Osogbo in the South West, Igbo Ukwu (New Yam) festival in the Eastern part of Nigeria and others in various ethnic groups.”

“We should work and vacate more here. Besides the fact that only a small percentage of Nigerians can afford to go on vacation outside the country, Nigeria is rich in places for vacation and adventure”, she said.

Mbanefo further noted that Nigeria remains a work in progress adding that the Federal Government is working diligently day and night to bring improvement to all sector.

She encouraged Nigerians to imbibe lessons from the life, times and struggles of patience, perseverance and faith in God of our President- Muhammadu Buhari. “After sacrifice comes a better Nigeria; as day must come after night, so better times must follow times of struggles and sacrifice.”

Earlier, in his remark, the Chairman of the session, Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere (Fellow Chartered Accountant (PP) commended the dogged efforts of the NTDC after her power point presentation of major tourism sites in the country and her achievements so far in promoting the rich cultural heritage of the country.

On behalf of ICAN, he pledged to support the corporation in the promotion of domestic tourism which is the bedrock for economic development.

He said, “ICAN is ready to sponsor one paged advertisement on a comprehensive tourism sites on monthly basis”.

The NTDC boss further said “We have to continue to focus on our production capacity in Nigeria by investing in sectors of the economy that are labour intensive like Tourism, Agriculture and Manufacturing.