The Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has emphasized the need to explore the nation’s vast tourism potentials to create jobs, achieve inclusiveness, and address youth restiveness.
The Minister made the remarks in Abuja on Monday, when he received a delegation from the Nasarawa State Government, led by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe.
The statement by the Minister is a sequel to the award of a contract by the Nasarawa State Government to construct the road leading to the Farin Ruwa Waterfalls in the state, which is the highest waterfall in the country at 150m high.
He said this will complement the contract earlier awarded by the Federal Government for the construction of the Farin Ruwa Dam, for the provision of water and electricity, as well as the construction of the road leading to the dam.
In addition, the Minister expressed delight at the plan by the Nasarawa State Government to build a Film Village at the Farin Ruwa Waterfalls, saying the beauty of the environment can attract film makers across the world, as well as local and international tourists.
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What they are saying
Commenting on the visit of the Minister, the Deputy Governor of Nasarawa state, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, noted that the delegation came to seek support for the development of tourism sites in the state.
Dr. Emmanuel said: “Your Excellency, I want to thank you for this visit because it shows the kind of importance Nasarawa State attaches to culture and tourism. The truth of the matter is that we can avoid a lot of youth restiveness if we take advantage of tourism, because tourism in its own right has the capacity to create jobs, leisure, and bring unity and understanding among the people.
“We look at tourism in Nigeria as the panacea to poverty, as one industry that can bring inclusiveness, and it is targeted largely at women and the youth.”
Reacting to the submissions of the state executive, Lai Muhammed said: “You can see that with the combined efforts of the Federal Government and the State Government, that key element, which is always missing in tourism development, which is infrastructure, has already been addressed.”
In addition, the Minister also used the occasion to commiserate with the Government and people of Nasarawa State over the recent gruesome murder of the State APC Chairman, Mr. Philip Shekwo.