Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has launched the state tourism masterplan, targeting about N2 trillion from the sector in the next 10 years.
The governor, in a statement issued on Wednesday in Benin by his media aide, Crusoe Osagie, said the masterplan was designed to make the state a global tourism destination.
Mr Obaseki said 10 per cent of the world’s GDP is from tourism, and that Nigeria will contribute, through Edo, “to raise it to 20 per cent”.
“It is a thoroughly designed plan to make the state the choice destination among global tourists.
“With the masterplan, the state plans to generate N2 trillion in the next 10 years from the sector,” he added.
Represented by the Deputy Governor Philip Shaibu, Mr Obaseki urged all “stakeholders” to complement government efforts at leveraging Edo’s rich cultural heritage to boost tourism.
Mr Obaseki said the government would create the enabling environment to reposition the tourism sector and attract more investments and visitors from across the world.
“Tourism is one of the sectors we are paying critical attention to change the face of the state in terms of infrastructure and revenue generation.
“We are leveraging our heritage, which is unique to us. Our artefacts are scattered all around the world. Edo is a home of sports.
“We are bringing back sports to encourage tourism in the state. We have created a business-friendly environment and provided infrastructure and security.
“We have a rich cultural heritage, and we are going to take advantage of what we have to boost the tourism sector so as to grow our revenue.
“We urge our stakeholders in the hospitality business to join hands with the government as it’s a win-win situation for us. We enjoin them to take advantage of the emerging economy,” he added.
Earlier, the chairman of the tourism steering committee and Edo’s Head of Service, Anthony Okungbowa, thanked the governor for the opportunity given to the committee to develop the masterplan.
Meanwhile, a financial expert, Bismarck Rewane, in a paper titled, ‘Rethinking Tourism’, said with the right investments, the state has the capacity to generate huge revenue from tourism and create jobs in the sector.
“Investment in infrastructure and construction will result in job creation of at least 2,000 direct jobs and 15,000 indirect jobs in the immediate future,” he added.
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