The Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prince Eze Madumere, on Friday said the exploration of the nation’s tourist potential was the only way out of lingering economic recession.
Madumere told the News Agency of Nigeria in Bajua that this would also be in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s economic diversification policy.
The deputy governor, who stressed the importance of developing Nigeria’s area of comparative economic advantage, said the country had untapped tourist potential.
Madumere said: “If we develop those that make us stand out, if we develop those traditions that have always been a mystery to the outside world, then we will be able to tap into their potential naturally.
“Then, we will earn huge revenue from them.”
Madumere said that some big economies of the world had experienced economic boom and wealth creation through massive investment in tourism.
According to him: “We go to China to see old monuments as well as homes of Chinese past heroes.”
Madumere, who expressed confidence in the policies of the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government, called for more investments in the tourist sector.
He described Nigeria as a nation endowed with abundant natural resources, saying that it was time to tap into its natural endowments.
The deputy governor noted that the Israeli economy was not only agriculturally driven but centred on tourism for huge revenue.
He said: “Even, visits to the birth place of Jesus Christ and where his resurrection took place had continued to bring huge revenue to Israel from pilgrims.
“I believe that we can do well if we get more serious and have a unified plan and calendar for our tourist destinations.”
Madumere, however, commended the efforts of Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo State for turning the state into a tourist centre, adding that Oguta Blue Lake was a first class tourist attraction in the country.
He called on other states of the federation to emulate the footprints of Okorocha in boosting the tourist industry for a prosperous Nigeria.
He said: “This is why I buy into the ‘Change Begins with Me’ Project.
“And you know it is all encompassing.
“It could be historical, agricultural, health or even religious.”