By Akin Akande, Abuja
Minister of State for Federal Capital Territory, Oloye Olajumoke Akinjide, disclosed today that the FCT Administration would develop the full tourism potentials of the nation’s capital, Abuja.
She stated this at a meeting with the executive members of the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) where the preliminary report on Abuja Tourism Master-plan was presented by the Director-General of National Institute for Hospitality & Tourism (NIHOTOUR), Dr. Munzali Dantata.
Akinjide, who noted that tourism was vital to the economic growth of the FCT, said the Administration would optimize the territory’s huge potentials for conference tourism, sports tourism, education tourism, medical tourism and cultural tourism.
She outlined several initiatives by the Administration to develop the tourism potentials of nation’s capital including the Nigerian Art Master Mosaic as well as establishment of Sculpture Park, Music Festival Park and Horticulture Park.
“The Honourable Minister of FCT, Senator Bala Mohammed, has approved three Parks for the Social Development Secretariat (SDS) namely, Sculpture Park, Festival Park and Horticulture Park. The Administration will partner with the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria towards achieving the full tourism potentials of the territory
“Tourism is very important to the FCT and Nigeria in general. The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation has initiated programmes to develop tourism,” she stated.
Earlier in his address, the National President of FTAN, Chief Samuel Olu Alabi, urged the Government to utilise tourism for nation’s building and physical growth.
“Tourism helps preserve the environment rather than destroy it. It opens up the rural areas to development and support good image building and general poverty alleviation. It triggers rapid development and sustainability of basic infrastructures such as electricity, water and roads, among others,” Alabi said.
He explained that FTAN was planning an investors’ forum and exhibition in the FCT to showcase the potentials of tourism sector to the economic development of Nigeria.
“The forum is also aimed at strengthening the relationship between the tourism investors and their service providers as well as building new tourism frontiers through the creation of accessible funds,” he added.
Presenting the preliminary report on Abuja Tourism Master-plan, Dantata stated that the FCT had rich human, capital and natural resources which can make it the preferred tourism destination when fully utilised.
He explained that the Report provided a comprehensive overview of the tourism industry in the FCT and also laid out vividly the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) to the industry in the territory.