Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has reassured the D-8 Organization for Economic Cooperation of improved security and infrastructure put in place by the present administration to reduce insecurity and promote tourism in Nigeria
The Minister stated this while receiving Secretary-General of the Organisation, Mr. Dato’ Ku Jafafar Ku Shaari in Abuja on Tuesday 18 December 2018.
Lai Mohammed stated that “without the provision of security and critical infrastructure, tourism development will remain a mirage.” He further went on to say that the activities of the Boko Haram sect have been reduced to cowardly activities and they have been relegated to the fringes of Lake Chad.
“Without peace and security, the best tourist attractions will be inaccessible to anybody. As a matter of fact, without peace and security and stability, travel advisories will actually discourage or even prohibit tourists from coming into those areas and the people don’t invest really in the areas where there is instability or insecurity. That is why the government has made it a cardinal principle to address the issue of insecurity in the country,” he said.
He emphasized the efforts of the current administration in reclaiming territories hitherto ceased by insurgents
“A large chunk of Nigeria’s territory, including 20 out of the 27 Local Government Areas in Borno State” as well as saving the Federal Capital Territory from unprecedented attacks,” he said.
“Today after three years, we have had no single incident of any insurgency in Abuja or its environs,” he added.
He further went on to address the provision of infrastructure, saying the administration has invested N2.7 trillion in infrastructure within two years.
“Your Excellency, you cannot have tourism without infrastructure. There must be roads, airports, power. Without these things, you can’t even access the tourist attractions and it’s on record that this government has in the last two years – 2016-2017 – invested massively in infrastructure.”
In his remarks, the Secretary-General of D-8 said he and his team were in the ministry to secure the input of the government towards the development of a strategic vision on how member countries can share experiences and knowledge on tourism.
“The purpose of our visit today to the ministry is to learn from the government and the ministry in all the activities in respect of culture and tourism and where we can connect as an organisation,” he said.
He commended the Nigerian government for its efforts towards the development of tourism, especially the provision of security and critical infrastructure as well as the introduction of Visa on Arrival for tourists.