PORT HARCOURT/Nigeria: Chairman, Delta State House of Assembly Committee on Culture and tourism and member representing Ndokwa East State constituency, Rt. Hon. Osanebi Ossai Friday has said that his committee is harnessing the hidden potentials in the culture and tourism industry of Delta state for economic gain and development.
Osanebi who made the revelation in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, said that there are many untapped potentials in culture and tourism, and that his committee is adequately synergising with relevant stakeholders in the culture and tourism industry for the growth and development of the sector in order to make meaningful contributions to the overall growth and development of Delta State.
Speaking to news men at the Agip/NAOC host community day 2019, at the NAOC new base in Port- Harcourt, Osanebi said: “I must tell you, culture and tourism is reportedly the world’s largest industry. Apart from the fact that it helps in branding cities, tourism is also capable of generating income for the government and businesses by drawing investors and tourists”.
“Over the years this very viable aspect of our economic growth and development has been neglected and I think if we’ll be sincere as leaders in the diversification of our economy, this sector has a lot to contribute”, Osanebi added.
He noted that the Obasanjo administration of 1999 to 2007 hit the right chord when it classified attention to the culture and tourism section among its six priority areas of focus to consider when diversifying the country’s economy.
Osanebi however lamented the far cry to what this projection portrays. He said “clearly, Nigeria is yet to diversify her economy”. Noting that the period between 2012 to this present day has not been a very pleasant one for Nigeria’s economy.
He further revealed that from that economic dispensation to the present, Nigeria and state governments have over depended on crude oil for her major source of energy, foreign exchange and revenue; noting that leaders as a matter of importance must consider economic diversification by investing more attention and resources in culture and tourism.
The NAOC/Joint Ventures host community day is an annual event that gathers host communities in the states where they operate and key government functionaries as the various states and communities showcase their cultural heritages and winners emerged and given prizes at the end of the day.
Delta State contingent led by the former deputy speaker had in its team, cultural troops from the state, commissioner for culture and tourism, Lawrence Ejiofor, Delta State Government House Director of Protocol, Hon. Ifeanyi Eboigbe.
Some other dignitaries in the occasion were Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lai Mohammed, Imo state Deputy Governor, His Excellency Eze Madumere KSC, MFR, River State Speaker Rt. Hon. Ikuinyi O. Ibani, Chief Ugo Asibelua, Ndokwa East LGA PDP Chairman, Comr Tony Ndanenu and host of others.