The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said that tourism potentials in the country can create jobs and curb youth restiveness.
The Minister spoke in Abuja on Monday when he received a
delegation from Nasarawa State Government, led by the Deputy Governor,
Dr. Emmanuel Akabe.
“Your Excellency, I want to thank you for this visit because it shows
the kind of importance Nasarawa State attaches to culture and tourism.
But the truth of the matter is that we can avoid a lot of youth
restiveness if we take advantage of tourism because tourism in its own
right has the capacity to create jobs and create leisure and bring
unity and understanding among the people.
“We look at tourism in Nigeria as the panacea to poverty, as one
industry that can bring inclusiveness and it is targeted largely at
women and the youth,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed expressed delight at the award of contract by the
Nasarawa State Government to construct the road leading to the Farin
Ruwa Waterfalls in the state, which is the highest waterfall in the
country at 150 metres height.
He said this will complement the contract earlier awarded by the
Federal Government for the construction of the Farin Ruwa Dam, for the
provision of water and electricity, as well as the construction of the
road leading to the dam.
“You can see that with the combined efforts of the Federal Government
and the State Government, that key element, which is always missing in
tourism development, which is infrastructure, has already been
addressed,” the Minister said.
He welcomed the plan by the Nasarawa State Government to build a Film
Village at the Farin Ruwa Waterfalls, saying the scenic beauty of the
environment can attract film makers across the world as well as local
and international tourists.
Alhaji Mohammed promised to pay an official visit to the Farin Ruwa
Waterfalls, with a view to assessing the waterfalls and discussing
with the state government officials on how best to develop the falls
into a world-class tourist site.
The Minister also used the occasion to commiserate with the Government
and people of Nasarawa State over the recent gruesome murder of the
State APC Chairman, Mr. Philip Shekwo.
In his remarks, the Nasarawa State Deputy Governor, observed that
tourism, which is a low hanging fruit for job creation, is being
neglected and relegated to the background in Nigeria.
He sought the support of the Federal Ministry of Information and
Culture towards exploring and exploiting the vast tourism potentials
of Nasarawa State, especially the Farin Ruwa Waterfalls because of its
potential to attract tourists.
The Deputy Governor was accompanied on the visit by the State
Commissioner for Information, Mr. Dogo Shama; the former Commissioner
for Culture and Tourism, Hajia Lantana Ahmed, and the Convener of the Annual
Nasarawa Festival, Mr. A. Y. Bello, among other officials.