Tourism isn’t my area of expertise, I prefer education ― Okorocha
It can be biggest employer of labour ― Runsewe
Former Imo state governor and senator representing Imo west, Rochas Okorocha have said he lacked the expertise to preside as Chairman Senate Committee on Tourism.
Speaking at an interactive session with Permanent Secretary, directors and other high-level officials of the Ministry of Tourism, the former Imo state governor said he would have preferred to be saddled with oversight functions on the Ministry of Education.
While pleading for the cooperation of high-level officials of the Ministry, Senator Okorocha promised to give it his best as he noted that the tourism sector has the potential of competing with crude oil earnings in generating revenue for the country.
He said:” This is not my area of expertise, I would have loved to be chairman Senate Committee on Education but I will do my best. Working together, we shall give Nigeria the best that will meet Nigerians aspirations.
“Outside agriculture, the best employer of labour is tourism. But its contribution to our Gross Domestic Product is infinitesimal and it is unacceptable.
“Today, destiny has brought on my shoulder and my colleagues to steer the ship. Our mission is to revive it. The good news there is that all of us must strive to make a mark.
“We shall work together as members of one family. We aren’t here to police you but to get the job done.”
Senator Okorocha said he has since opened a discussion with the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory for an expansive land to promote leisure.
Director-General, National Centre for Arts and Culture, Segun Runsewe said tourism has been neglected by successive administration but said if well harnessed, it could make a lot of difference in revenue earning of the federal government.
Otunba Runsewe also called on the Senate to show more than passing concern in the indiscriminate issuance of Nigerian international passport. He further argued that some of the people being apprehended in a foreign nation for heinous activities were not Nigerians.