Expert urges stakeholders to harness culture, tourism potential

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A tourism expert, Mr Chuks Akamadu, has called on relevant stakeholders to harness the potential of culture and tourism, to enhance sustainable national development. Akamadu advised on Thursday at the Public Presentation of the Book titled  ‘Harnessing Culture for Economic Growth ” in Abuja.

According to him, the book offers a practical guide on how to deploy culture and tourism as a tool for both economic diversification, as well as aggressive internal revenue generation by state governments.
The tourism expert urged the government at all levels and tourism stakeholders to be creative, to harness a creative economy that would bring about sustainable growth to the nation.
” With creativity, the nation can feel culture and tourism into one entity called culture. The reason why United Arab Emirates  is where they are today because they understand the concept of ‘culture.
“They utilised their cultural strength and complement with their tourism strength,  to ensure that creativity elements are used in making their place beautiful that translate into great growth and development, ” he said. Akamadu urged Nigerians, stakeholders,  as well as government at all levels to open their eyes, embrace culture for economic growth.

 

In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, retired Maj-Gen. Ibrahim Haruna, said he was excited at the drive to promote culture and tourism for the good of the country. Haruna said the book had opened many people’s eyes to certain things in culture and tourism, adding that the book brought out the consciousness of what people were known for in the world.
” In a sum total, if people are to visit us today, they should know that they are not just coming to trade but create history.
“People from their own experience and civilisation, should decide to come to Nigeria, we should show them the things that make us whom we are and what we are contributing to the world,” he said. Haruna called on government at all levels to focus on culture and tourism for sustainable national development. He appealed to youths to take advantage in tourism sector to create jobs as the days of ‘white-collar’ jobs were over.

 

Mrs Elizabeth Ben-Iheanaho, former Director, Research and Programme, National Council for Arts and Culture (NACA),  commended the author for coming up with a book that educated tourism stakeholders on how to develop the sector. Ben-Iheanaho, who was the book reviewer, said the book identified the potential of Nigerian culture  and tourism sector as a agent for economic growth and diversification.

 

Also speaking, Sen. Orji Kalu, who said the book was apt, urged Nigeriians to do everything within their power to make culture yields money for national development. “We should change our  narrative,  inorder to make us  progress  in the growth and development of our country,” he said.
NAN/S.S