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Exploring tourism for FCT economic growth, development

16th Dec, 2019 | By Stella Ojeme | ||

Tourism has for ages functioned as one of the most lucrative and viable sectors for economic advancement. It can well be defined as the gateway to every nation or society as the story of every society begins with its history exhibited in its landmarks, monuments and culture.

Socio-economically, smart nations have deemed it wise to exploit potentials in tourism to develop and build their economies. Tourist sites as points of attraction are capable of sustaining a country economically as they can become huge sources of revenue generation if harnessed adequately, even as they can add aesthetics to a nation. No wonder countries like Kenya, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, China and many others have explored that grand sector for economic development and sustainability.

Nigeria is endowed by nature with vast and great tourism potentials in alluring and captivating wonders of nature, historical landmarks, rich cultural heritage, festivals and beautiful destinations that can be exploited and expanded to advance the economy and much more. With the Federal Government present policy on economic diversification, tourism is largely virgin and can spin around the fortunes of the nation if strong political will is initiated to build the sector.

For Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the Capital City was carefully chosen by the founding fathers not just for its centrality but for the huge potentials it has to offer in diverse fields, tourism inclusive. The hilly terrain, forested woodlands and lush vegetation provide opportunities for the establishment of national parks, games reserves and zoological gardens for wild life preservation in the Territory. Realizing this, successive FCT Administrations have made efforts to develop and promote tourism into an economically viable industry as tourist sites abound in FCT.

They include the Ushafa Pottery, ultra- modern zoological garden at Lower Usuma Dam, FCT Games Reserve, Aso Rock and Caves, Katampe Hills (called the geographical centre of Nigeria), among others. There are also events like the popular Abuja Carnival, Abuja Festival for Arts and Culture(ASOFEST), Abuja International Travel Fair and the Abuja International Trade Fair.

The National Tourism master plan earmarked FCT as one of the conference cluster zones of the country to be promoted as a conference destination for Meetings, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions (MICE). The FCT has a tourism policy which is to make the Territory a prominent tourism destination in the country, generate foreign exchange, promote tourism exchange, encourage even development, promote tourism-based rural enterprise, generate employment, accelerate rural- urban integration and foster socio-cultural unity among the various regions of the country through the promotion of both domestic and international tourism.

It also aims at encouraging active private sector participation in tourism development in the country. The sector is vibrant and versatile with numerous socio-cultural, economic and political benefits. Therefore, the time is ripe for the authorities to deliberately look the way of tourism by according it a vantage position in the economic planning of the city. It is on record that millions of people across the world visit Kenya, South Africa, China and Dubai as well as other popular world tourist destinations annually, thereby yielding great boost to the economy of these places and also giving them popularity and pride of place in the comity of nations.

Nigeria and indeed FCT can delve into this. Our view is that tourism in FCT should be brought to the fore, developed and harnessed for sustainable economic growth. We as well advocate for adequate budgetary allocation, the initiation of an investment forum for tourism and a systematic marketing of the Territory tourism sector. With the Capital City created to stand at par with other best and developed world capital cities, and with its place as Africa's fastest developing city, tourism could be a necessary catalyst to realize even development hence giving residents and other Nigerians the Abuja of their dream.

News Update

The Minister said this during the presentation of FCT 2020 statutory budget to the joint sitting of the Senate and House of Representatives Committees on the FCT.

To ensure strict compliance with the Abuja Master Plan and permanently tackle traffic situation within Gwarinpa the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it would remove no fewer than 850 makeshift shops/houses (popularly called 'batchers') and shanties along the N16 road.

Speaking to journalists last week during commencement of sitting of a mobile court at the head office of Directorate of Road Traffic Services (DRTS), popularly called Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), in Mabushi, Abuja, authorities of the organization defended the establishment of the court saying it was set up by FCTA to decide the fate of traffic offenders.

Ahead of the planned revocation of plots of land situated in serviced areas of Federal Capital City (FCC), the FCT Administration (FCTA) has inaugurated a task team to holistically verify all identified undeveloped plots of land where infrastructure has already been provided.

Malam Bello made the pledge when he received a delegation of the FCT Sharia Court of Appeal led by the Grand Khadi, Justice Ibrahim Rufa'i Imam who was on a courtesy visit to FCTA.

Minister of State, FCT, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu, made the clarion call and promised to reward such corps members who distinguish themselves during the one-year mandatory service..


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