The federal government has urged the states to see tourism beyond leisure and entertainment but as an economy and tool for poverty reduction.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, gave this advice on Monday in Birnin-Kebbi at the 2021 World Tourism Day celebrations.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 2021 World Tourism Day with the theme “Tourism for Inclusive Growth” is hosted in Birnin-Kebbi by Kebbi state Government and the Ministry.
While addressing a joint news conference with Kebbi State Deputy Governor Samaila Dabai, the minister said if harnessed, the tourism sector could transform the economy of many states and ensure gender equality.
He said the states should take a cue from Kebbi which had a lot to offer the world and a lot of stories to tell in tourism development.
“This is well demonstrated in Kebbi State, given the fact that the tourism sector in the state revolves around components such as culture, agriculture and sports, among others.
“In the areas of culture and sports, the annual Argungu International Fishing festival, the Durbar, traditional wrestling and camel racing, among others, have over the years proven to be viable sources of economic growth.
They have also contributed in the area of job creation and empowerment, especially for the women and youth.
“Kebbi State is known for its industrial growth, especially in the areas of rice mills and tomato factories which employ a lot of women as farm staff (80 per cent), out growers (30 per cent) and factory staff (10 per cent).
“All these underscore the state’s efforts and capacity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.
The minister commended Kebbi state Governor Abubakar Bagudu for his commitment to tourism development. (NAN)