Owerri - Dr Godfrey Nwakonobi, Chairman of the Imo chapter of the Federation
of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), on Saturday urged the Imo
Government to excise its Ministry of Tourism and Culture Ministry from
its Ministry of Information.
Nwakonobi made the call during the celebration of the 2013 World Tourism Day in Owerri.
He urged the state government to treat tourism as a preferred sector
in the state, while calling for an improvement in the level of private
sector investment in tourism.
Besides, Nwakonobi called for the introduction of incentives such as
tax rebate and soft loans with liberal terms for potential investors in
the tourism sector.
He said that such arrangements would boost revenue generation and job creation in the state.
The guest lecturer, Ford Ozumba, the Director-General of Imo State
Orientation Agency (ISOA), called for the development of recreational
facilities in areas outside the urban centres.
Ozumba, who was represented by Prof. Eugene Opara, noted that many of
the country's water resources were undeveloped tourism assets, which
could be developed and harnessed for the benefit of the society.
"A lot of undeveloped rivers, lakes and canals are wasting away;
such assets can be developed into veritable tourist attractions.
"The lakes in Abadaba and Oguta can be turned into multi-million
naira ventures, which are capable of sustaining the economy of their
local governments, if well-harnessed," he said.
Ozumba also called on the government to design appropriate laws and regulations to promote efficient and sustainable water use.