Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, has said that culture and tourism, when properly promoted, would earn more revenue than oil.
Otunba Runsewe stated this at the weekend in Jos, at the maiden Plateau Tourism Conference.
The conference has the theme: “Unlocking the Vast Potentials of Tourism as a Financial Option for Sustainable Socio-economic Development.”
Stressing the importance of culture and tourism to the economy, Runsewe said oil is exhaustible while culture is not.
“It is sad that we are paying lip service to a sector that can make Nigeria great. “The only secret remaining to make Nigeria great is culture and tourism.
“This is the only sector where nobody is useless; If you score F9 in all subjects, you will not be useless in tourism. “You don’t need a PhD to be a creative person,” he stated.
According to Runsewe, culture and tourism was one sector that could reduce crime, unemployment and infighting among Nigerians.
He said all that is needed is the right analysis to identify the challenges and work out ways to tackle them.
The NCAC boss said that Plateau could make a difference for Nigeria the same way Dubai has made a difference for the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“Dubai is not the capital of UAE, Abu Dhabi is. But Dubai is servicing the seven states of UAE. Why can’t Plateau do the same thing?
“Plateau has a good weather. It is blessed with scenic beauty and among others,” he stated.
He challenged the Plateau State Government to develop a tourism master plan to guide them.
Managing Director of Danira Tourism, Scotland, UK, Mr Benjamin Carey, said that Nigeria needed to create synergy with other countries for its tourism sector to grow.
Carey observed that Nigeria was blessed with a rich heritage that could be explored for the growth of its economy.
He charged Nigeria to focus on what it has, conduct a baseline survey and communicate the potentialities by working out margins for depreciation and margins for profit.
Also speaking, Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Operations in Plateau State, Mr Habila Joshak, in his remarks, promised that the Police Force would provide adequate security for tourists.
Joshak stated that Plateau was endowed with abundant tourist sites begging to be explored.

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