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UNWTO, govt partner to develop Nigeria’s tourism sector

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Zurab Pololikashvili, UNWTO<br />Secretary General<br />

Heritage Bank Plc has partnered Federal Government and the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), in a bid to transform Nigeria into a tourist sector destination in Africa and position it as lever of Nigeria’s economic growth and development.

The bank and government, at the 61st meeting of (UNWTO)-Commission for Africa (CAF), in Abuja, attended by over 166 foreign delegates, 26 ministers and 332 Nigerian delegates, excluding local and foreign pressmen.

Speaking on the 61st meeting with the theme: “Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development,” President Muhammad Buhari, stated that Nigeria is safe and secure for tourism, citing improved security and the country’s burgeoning economy as basis for his verdict.

He called on tourists and investors in the tourism sector to consider Nigeria as their second home saying, that the Federal Government, has provided attractive investment incentives for investors in the sector.

While wooing the investors for developments, Buhari assured investors in the sector of minimum tariff on investment on amusement park equipment, materials for hotel construction, furnishing, dedicated transportation for tour operators and equipment for restaurants not manufactured in Nigeria, minimum duty on casino equipment and work permit for foreign workers with specialised skills within the industry.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, stated since the government deemed it right to partner with the bank in order to synergies together and move tourism potentials of Nigeria to the next level, the bank will continue to increase investment and support to the sector in year ahead.

“Over the years the bank has believed in tourism and we always keep trying as much as possible to support the tourism sector. Over the years we think it is something we have done with a quite a number of stakeholders and we have done that quite well.

“In the coming years, we should expect more of better handshake. We intend to do more; because looking at what they are trying to achieve here now, we have seen that they are trying to take in much into the other sectors. We think we would still be there for them.


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