Stakeholders in the tourism and transportation sectors at the second edition of the annual National Tourism and Transport Summit and Expo in Abuja, organised by the Institute of Tourism Professionals (ITP), have charged government at different levels and operators in the two sectors to facilitate and ensure the implementation of the recommendations adopted for the socio-economic development of the country.
The Secretary to Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, who declared open the two-day summit, commended the organisers for the initiative, which he said is a laudable one as it has the potential to galvanise the two sectors and related industries to boost the economy of the country.
Mustapha, who was represented by the Minister of Women Affairs, Hajia Aisha Abubakar, reiterated the commitment of the federal government to massive investment in building the country’s infrastructure and the pursuit of peace and security in order to achieve inclusive socio-economic development of the country.
He said for tourism to thrive, the country needs to be at peace, giving assurance of the federal government’s resolve to handle the various challenges confronting the country while suing for the support and cooperation of all Nigerians and businesses to move the country forward.
On his part, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCTA), Alhaji Mohammed Musa Bello, said the FCTA was proud to host the summit, which he said offered a platform to chart a better way for the two sectors while calling on all the participants to explore critical issues relating to bridging the gap between transport and tourism sectors.
Some of the keynote speakers at the event included the Ministers of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi and Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed as well as Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who were all represented at the event.
They all commended the Institute of Tourism Professionals in organising the summit, stressing that as partners and collaborators in hosting the event, they will continue to offer their support for its success.
Some of the resolutions adopted at the end of the two-day session of discourse on various aspects of tourism and transportation and related matters by different speakers from a broad spectrum of the economy, included: Policy summersaults, under utilisation of modern technology, dearth of data and inadequate human and institutional capacity as factors responsible for the for the drawback in the two sectors.
While noting that low level participation and poor investment of the private sector are also slowing down growth in the sectors, they observed that poor infrastructure development and also poor synergy between the two sectors, which observed is not helping to spur sustainable growth and development.
Also, they called for steady government policies; stronger public private partnership to grow both sectors, noting that strong human and institutional capacity and use of modern technology to conduct tourism and transportation activities are key if Nigeria is to witness sustainable growth and development in the two sectors.
The summit also tasked relevant tourism agencies to intensify efforts in the promotion and marketing of Nigerian tourism for both domestic and international markets while urging the federal government to liberalise the aviation sector in order to attract massive private investment.
The summit climaxed with an award and gala night, which held on the second day.
The night saw the presentation of awards to different individuals and organisations for their various contributions to the development and growth of the two sectors. They included: Amaechi, Sirika, Hadiza Bala Usman, managing director of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Frank Nneji, chief executive officer of ABC Transport Plc, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, DG, NIMASA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, DG, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Alhaji Muneer Bankole, managing director of Med View Airline and the President of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Otunba Wanle Akinboboye.