Nigeria’s Culture and Tourism Minister, Mr. Edem Duke, has called for greater collaboration between the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the ministry to reposition the sector and make it a major economic driver that can create more wealth, jobs and reduce poverty in the country.
“Our visit here is to indicate the fact that Tourism and Culture must move out of the traditional areas of comfort. We must begin to look at our sector, as one that bring value to bear on the Nigerian economy,” Duke told journalists shortly after ringing the bell to signify the end of trading on the floor of the exchange on Friday.
“It is our desire to solicit the platform of the NSE, the clouts of its membership and traders to ensure that we can reposition the sector and indeed begin to grow it as a profitable sector and as one that can help us in the transformation agenda of this administration — creating jobs and wealth across the land,” he said.
He called on the stock exchange management to devise new strategies that will attract more private-sector operators to the tourism and culture sector and get it listed in the capital market.
“We have identified for instance over 230 prospective tourist sites in Nigeria and those are not going to be developed all entirely by government. We don’t have the resources to invest in infrastructure that is why we are in a place like the NSE,” Duke said, adding “We have identified for instance 100 heritage sites that speak on the origin of our people. People must look at them and try to develop business plans around them.
“We do not have that expertise as civil servants and so we have to come to a place like this.”
Responding, the Chief Executive Officer of the NSE, Mr. Oscar Onyema, spoke of plans to organise a national dialogue next year on Tourism as a Business in Nigeria