In its resolve to practically make tourism one of the mainstays of Nigeria’s economy, the Federal Government has promised to encourage both domestic and foreign investment through a new import tariff regime to boost the development and promotion of tourism in Nigeria.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the promise during the official opening of the 61st edition of UNWTO/CAF meeting hosted in Abuja,
on Monday, saying that this government has attractive investment incentives for investors in the tourism sector including but not
limited to pioneer status to all major tourism projects.
The president who was represented by the Secretary to Federal Government, Mr Boss Mustapha, said, “The theme of this meeting is apt
and could not have come at a better time than now, considering the significance of Tourism Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA)
in measuring the contribution of the tourism sector to the national economy.
President Buhari, who called on tourists and investors in the tourism sector to consider Nigeria as their second home assured global
delegates at the meeting of “Minimum tariff on imported tourism equipment, amusement park equipment and materials for the hotel
construction and furnishing, dedicated transportation for tour operators and equipment for restaurants not manufactured in Nigeria.
He also considered a minimum duty on casino equipment while ensuring an arrangement for a work permit for foreign workers with specialised
skills within the industry as well as giving lands at a concessionary rate by state governments to tourism investors.
According to Buhari, “The importance of tourism and its potentials to national economies cannot be over-emphasised. Tourism, as we all know,
contributes to the wealth of nations and the well being of citizens, largely through foreign exchange earnings, generation of revenue, the creation of employment as well as peaceful co-existence.
“In our efforts at diversifying the economy through Agriculture, solid minerals development and tourism, we are investing heavily in
infrastructure. This administration has injected US$9 billion to strengthen its investment in power, roads and railway in the past two
years alone” present at the opening were over 500 delegates comprises Ministers of tourism, tourism experts and delegates from over 50 African countries, Nigeria ministers, Director-Generals of different agencies under the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, among others