Maritime tourism is key to economic development – NIMASA

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Lagos, May 10, 2023- Dr. Bashir Jamoh, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has called for collaboration among operators in the tourism and maritime sectors in Nigeria.

He said that with the enormous resources in the maritime sector, the “tourism industry will be an easy and low hanging fruit for Nigeria’s economic development agenda”.

Jamoh gave the advice at the 6th National Tourism Transportation Summit and Expo organised by the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN) in collaboration with the Ministries of Transportation, Aviation, Information and Culture held at the International Conference Centre Abuja.

Speaking on the topic “Tourism and Development of Nigeria’s Blue Economy,” Jamoh said that investment in tourism must not necessarily involve huge materials and human capital.

He said that like in other sectors, small and medium scale businesses in the tourism sector could equally generate jobs and other economic benefits.

“I must acknowledge here that tourism is one sector that Nigeria is doing very well. But unfortunately, the marine tourism component is one area where we are currently lagging behind when compared to other economies of the world.

“I am fascinated, and must commend the organisers of this event because a well-managed tourism sector can support conservation, while contributing to sustainable development and providing income opportunities and a higher quality of life.”

Jamoh, however, said that safety and security in the maritime sector was sacrosanct for the development of marine tourism.

He said that there was the need for stakeholders to support all engagements and policy statements of government on preservation of Nigeria’s biodiversity, maritime ecosystem and other endowments that were valuable assets for marine tourism development.

Jamoh also said that benefits from tourism could only be achieved with security guarantees.

“Research shows that the Oceans economy is worth about 20 trillion in dollars.

“These include the fishing, pharmaceutical and the renewable energy industries.

“Therefore, we have to develop, preserve and protect our maritime endowments and link these industries appropriately to achieve the desired goal.

“As an Agency of government, NIMASA will always play that complementary role of supporting economic growth and development.

“We have invested a lot in acquisition and deployment of maritime security assets, so I urge stakeholders in the maritime sector to take advantage of what we have done and invest in relevant marine tourism areas because our waters are now safe,” he said.

The 6th National Tourism Transportation Summit was aimed at discovering and exploring  opportunities in the Nigeria tourism sector.

It had the theme: “AFCFTA: Exploring Intra-African Trade, Tourism and Transportation Opportunities and Mitigating the Barriers to Collaboration.” (GBN)

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