FG Declares Kebbi Nigeria's Tourism Hub As Gov Bagudu Restates Commitment On Tourism, Culture Development - DE-REPORTORIAL


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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

FG Declares Kebbi Nigeria's Tourism Hub As Gov Bagudu Restates Commitment On Tourism, Culture Development

By Ismail Bayo

The federal government on Monday declared kebbi state as Nigeria's tourism and cultural hub just as governor Abubakar Atiku Bagudu restates his administration's commitment to the development of tourism and cultural potentials of the state .

The minister during his address at the occasion of United Nation World Tourism Organization 44th edition of the World Tourism Day celebration in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State commended the Governor of Kebbi for accepting to host this year’s World Tourism Day celebration. "Not only is the organization and management excellent, but I am also happy that it provided the opportunity for us to experience the goodwill and hospitality of the good people of Kebbi State", he said.

The minister stated that given the fact that the tourism sector in the state revolves around components such as culture, agriculture and sports, among others, Kebbi is known for its industrial growth, especially in the areas of rice mills and tomato factories which employ a lot of women as farm staff, out growers and factory staff. And in the areas of culture and sports, the annual Argungu International Fishing festival, the Durbar, traditional wrestling and camel racing, among others, have over the years proven to be viable sources of economic growth, job creation and empowerment, especially for the women and youth in the state.

He said the restart of the tourism sector will facilitate global recovery and growth that will be widely

and fairly felt. "In order for tourism to restart and to ensure that growth is inclusive, member states of the UNWTO are encouraged to focus on certain priorities such as partnerships with key stakeholders and international organizations, as well as engage in advocacy to promote the role of tourism  in inclusive growth", he said.

He explained that Nigeria is home to many tourism resources, including cultural assets, amazing waterfalls, beaches, heritage sites, caves, wildlife, mountains but over-dependence on oil resources has led to the neglect of these resources and, as a result, the many benefits of tourism in Nigeria are yet to be fully deployed.

"The tourism sector is not just a leading source of employment for the skilled, unskilled and semi-skilled, it also promotes territorial cohesion and socio-economic inclusion for the most vulnerable and helps communities to hold onto their unique natural and cultural heritage, support conservation, safeguard endangered species and keep traditions alive.

"Tourism is one of the most important pillars of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goals 1, 5, 8 and 10 which deal with ‘No Poverty’, ‘Gender Equality’ ‘Decent Work and Economic Growth’ as well as ‘Reduced Inequalities’. The role of tourism in inclusive growth is also demonstrated in the second principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, with the pledge by member states to ‘Leave No One Behind’. This pledge is more relevant than ever before, because tourism has a unique ability to make sure that nobody is left behind, as showcased in the theme for Theme of the World Tourism Day - ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth".

He said the essence of the annual celebration is to foster global awareness of the social, cultural, political and economic value of tourism and the contributions of the sector towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals.

"The event is also considered as a powerful advocacy tool and occasion to mobilize political will and resources, address global problems, celebrate and reinforce achievements at all levels and educate the public on issues of concern.", he said.

In his remarks, Bagudu who was represented by the  Deputy Governor, Rtd Col Samaila Yombe Dabai said Kebbi has unequivocally occupied a pride of place in the former Shongai empire with rich cultural heritage and a significant part of the jihad of Usman Danfodio and his younger brother, Abdullahi Fodio.

He said "Today the state is divided into four distinct emirates with distinct culture and traditions but lived harmoniously with one another devoid of traditional and religious clashes."

The governor assured the federal government that the choice of Kebbi State as host of this year’s World Tourism Day Celebration is not a misplaced idea given his administration's zeal and the preparedness of President Muhammadu Buhari to raise tourism to the highest pedestal and make it a major revenue earner and catalyst for the country's economic growth and development.

He said "We are all aware of the urgent need to explore and diversify other sources of revenue that will support or even surpass oil. Apart from tourism, Kebbi State has been identified as one of the states with rich and abundant mineral resources".

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