Senator Rochas Okorocha, Chairman of Senate Committee on Tourism, is seeking Senate’s approval to carry out a N4 billion tourism project.
During his presentation to the appropriations committee on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, Okorocha expressed his belief that the project dubbed ‘God Dey’, would boost the country’s tourism sector.
“Great nations are built on tourism,” the former governor of Imo state said.
“The budget I am about to present is called ‘God Dey’ because of the amount involved. This is a harmonized report of Senate and House of Representatives. Great nations of the world are built on tourism.
“We are making a special request to the Senate for additional funds to kick start tourism. I want to present this as it is. We are making an additional request of N4bn for tourism,” he added.
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Responding to Okorocha’s request, the Senator representing Kano North Senatorial District, Senator Barau Jibrin said that the project would be looked into and the money would be disbursed when made available.
Nigerian’s Tourism sector: Prior to this, Okorocha had complained of the low funding provided for the sector in the country.
Okorocha added that the tourism sector had the potential to change the fortune of the country. According to him, the sector is key to the diversification of the economy from the present monolithic dependence on oil, which he said can no longer meet the country’s needs.
Okorocha emphasised the need for the government to develop the sector, saying that most countries like China, Korea, UAE, Singapore and Malaysia depended on tourism and Nigeria has more natural tourism potentials than these countries.
Specifically, he said the music and entertainment industry in Nigeria has comparative advantage and must be supported and harnessed for the benefit of the country.
What you should know: According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) data as reported by Nairametrics, the tourism/hospitality sector recorded zero capital importation in 2018. Investors will continue to shun the sector until a coordinated approach to tourism development is taken even though we have seen a 4% plus GDP growth rate.