Edo targets N2trn revenue from tourism sector as Obaseki launches masterplan

By Isaac Olamikan

Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, launched the Edo State Tourism Master Plan, a thoroughly designed plan to make the state the choice destination among global tourists.

With the master plan, the state plans to generate N2 trillion in the next 10 years from the sector.

Obaseki, who received the master plan from members of the state’s tourism steering committee at the Government House, Benin City, urged all stakeholders to complement the government’s efforts at leveraging its rich cultural heritage in boosting its tourism receipts.

The governor, represented by his deputy, Rt. Hon. Comrade Philip Shaibu, said the government is rethinking tourism to reposition the sector to contribute adequately to the state’s economic growth and development.

He said, “Today, we present the Edo State Tourism Masterplan to you. We have departed from oil as we are diversifying our economy. Tourism is one of the sectors we are paying critical attention to change the face of the state in terms of infrastructure and revenue generation.

“We are leveraging our heritage which is unique to us. Our artifacts are scattered all around the world. Edo is a home of sports. We are bringing back sports to encourage tourism in the state. We have created a business-friendly environment and provided infrastructure and security.

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“We have a rich cultural heritage and we are going to take advantage of what we have to boost the tourism sector so as to grow our revenue. We urge our stakeholders in the hospitality business to join hands with the government as it’s a win-win situation for us. We are enjoining them to take advantage of the emerging economy.”

Obaseki added, “10 per cent of the world GDP is on tourism and Nigeria will contribute through Edo State to make it 20 per cent.”

In his welcome address, the Chairman of the Tourism Steering Committee and Edo Head of Service, Barr. Anthony Okungbowa thanked the governor for the opportunity given to the committee to develop the master plan for the state, adding, “One major pillar for the tourism master plan to stand and be sustained in sports.”

Delivering his presentation titled, ‘Rethinking Tourism,’ the Ultimate Chairman, Edo Tourism Masterplan Steering Committee, Bismarck Rewane said the state stands to generate N2 trillion in the next 10 years with the Edo State Tourism Master Plan.

He noted, “Edo State with a population of 5 million with about 500,000 voters in the last election will generate N2 trillion from tourism alone which is 10 per cent of what the entire Nigeria budgets for a year in tourism.

“Investment in infrastructure and construction will result in job creation of at least 2,000 direct jobs and 15,000 indirect jobs in the immediate future.”

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