Nigeria to boost tourism with festivals -Says Minister
By Joel ThankGod
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said his Ministry will soon produce a compendium of the festivals across the country, as part of efforts to boost tourism and showcase the country’s diverse cultures.
The Minister disclosed this in Istanbul, Turkey, while speaking at the on-going 3rd UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture, jointly organised by the two UN agencies.
He said with more than 365 festivals across Nigeria, the country can organise one festival per day all year round, thus boosting domestic and international tourism.
Alhaji Mohammed said Nigeria’s ethnic groups are rooted in their cultures, which they showcase through different festivals like Durbar, New Yam Festival, Eyo and Masquerades, just to mention a few.
He said governments at all levels in Nigeria are striving hard to encourage the festivals in their domains, while the federal government is providing enabling environment to showcase the various festivals.
The Minister said the Abuja Carnival is particularly designed to enable the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory to showcase the country’s cultural diversity, which he described as a source of unity among the country with more than 250 ethnic groups.
He said festivals are not just for entertainment but major contributors to job creation and economic development.
The conference is aimed at exploring the interplay of tourism and culture, with a view to enhancing sustainable tourism globally.
More than 30 Ministers of Culture and Tourism from around the world are attending the three-day conference.