The Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) says dollar scarcity has become a worrisome threat to the survival of the tourism industry and related enterprises in Nigeria and third-world economies.
NTDC director-general Foluronsho Coker said this during a breakfast meeting in Lagos on Saturday. He likened the dollar position, particularly its scarcity, to another COVID-19 pandemic.
“The dollar has ravaged our industry, from aviation fuel, spare parts purchases, hospitality and recreation services, transportation, logistics and the entire national economic architecture. This currency has assumed a scarcity presence and snuffing life (out) of the tourism sector,” Mr Coker stated.
The NTDC chief also spoke on Nigerian festivals and pleaded that the process and engagement should not have political colouration and undertone to avoid polluting the heritage value chain.
“I am going on a road show in the South-West to appeal to the traditional rulers to hold on to what is true, enduring and beneficial to the growth of our festivals,” he said. “We should not pollute our local festivals and do not turn festival grounds into political podiums leading to violence.”
The NTDC director-general, who was part of the Osun-Osogbo Festival, which ended on Friday, informed that Nigeria must not lose sight of the unification process which various festivals in the country desired to promote.
He berated the disturbing tribal and religious sing-song, which was fast eating up the fabrics of national unity and cohesion.
“We grew up in Nigeria not concerned about where anyone comes from, your dialect or those things which irritate relationships. We saw ourselves as neighbours, family and friends, so I wonder at the divisions and acrimonies over ethnic and religious sentiments which unfortunately is eroding the fabric of national unity, peace and development,” added Mr Coker.
The NTDC director-general commended the Lagos government for reintroducing History and Culture studies in its schools. He said this would go a long way in teaching and educating children about the richness of Nigerian cultural tourism history and tradition.
“At NTDC, we will help give our people hope and faith in Nigeria. Indeed, these are difficult times, and people are worried about tomorrow and tourism businesses bleeding. But, we shall preach hope, stand in the gap, and lift up depressed minds even though we don’t have all the resources,” Mr Coker stressed.
He added, “We will try to navigate the process, collaborate with industry associations and together, we can win these challenges and return our country to winning ways. Nigeria’s image must be salvaged, no controversies about it, and we call out all hands on the rescue efforts.”
Source: Peoples Gazette.