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FDI: FG TO REVIEW TOURISM MASTER-PLAN

By NBF News
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In line with the vision of President Goodluck Jonathan's administration to attract more Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into the country, the Federal Government, yesterday, in London, disclosed its resolve to carry out a comprehensive review of the country's tourism master-plan in line with what obtains in other parts of the world.

The latest move to attract FDI and boost tourism was disclosed by the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Mr Edem Duke, at the on-going World Travel Market Conference, which entered its second day in London, yesterday.

Specifically, the minister said it remained regrettable that the country's tourism master-plan had remained on the shelves for a long period without a holistic plan to actually implement the submissions in the plan.

Duke informed that the current master-plan would be subjected to a total overhaul in line with the vision of the current administration to make it more robust and investment friendly.

'In another one week or two, we are going to inaugurate the official master plan office to demystify the master plan from being a master plan to an action plan.

I have heard about this master plan for so many years. And I think the greatest challenge is to find leadership that has courage and commitment in order to move that initiative forward,' the minister said.

He disclosed that the President has given his Ministry the marching orders to ensure the restructuring of the sector while also ensuring that the master plan leaves the shelves of the different offices, in order for it to be activated on different platforms, so that it can be seen that the sector can help diversify the country's economy.

Also, he said government would continually update the country's master plan in line with the vision of President Jonathan to make Nigeria the hub of tourism in the world, adding that a dormant master plan cannot provide an avenue for the country's product to be competitive.

Again, the minister pointed out that the concept of the country's master plan as it is currently would shift to an action plan in the next one week to make it actionable and implementable for both government and would be investors.

On plans to move the sector forward, the minister explained that there is a need to enlighten stakeholders, especially in the public sector to understand the fact that this is a sector that will be led by the public sector but driven by the private sector.

On visa regime, Duke said the Federal Government is in the process of concluding plans to commence the issuance of a 10 year visas as a way of encouraging more investors into the country, stressing that a lot of investors have had cause to complain on the bottle necks often associated with issuance of Nigerian visas abroad.

Earlier the Director General of the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) said the plan to review the tourism master plan informed the decision of NTDC to develop a two in-one products-online publication and virtual tour on Nigeria to assist would be investors in the area of accessing up to date information on Nigeria tourism potentials.

Besides, he said the development of the two new products is the first of its kind in Africa, stressing that tourism is about systematic approach and innovation all aimed at attracting the much needed investment opportunities.