Nigeria: How Tourism, AfCFTA Can Enhance Nigeria’s Financial system – Minister

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The minister spoke on the Nationwide Tourism Transportation Summit and Expo in Abuja

The African Continental Free Commerce Space (AfCFTA) is a big improvement for the African continent and presents an amazing alternative for Nigeria to extend its commerce quantity, encourage tourism and increase its financial system, Adeniyi Adebayo, Minister of Trade, Commerce and Funding, has stated.

Mr Adebayo disclosed this whereas delivering his speech throughout the Nationwide Tourism Transportation Summit (NTTS) and Expo lately held in Abuja.

The NTTS is a foremost tourism and transportation industries occasion anchored by the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria.

Talking on the occasion, the minister stated the African Union Meeting of Heads of State and Authorities has declared the yr 2023 because the yr for the Acceleration of AfCFTA Implementation.

“Due to this fact, Nigeria should seize the immense alternatives offered by the AfCFTA to drive financial development and improvement.

“By harnessing its tourism potential, advancing aviation and transportation, selling commerce export, and fostering home industrialization, Nigeria can place itself as a key participant in intra-African commerce.

“Collaboration, each domestically and throughout the continent, will probably be essential in overcoming the obstacles and challenges that lie forward,” he stated.

Outlining Nigeria’s strategic method to enjoying and successful within the AfCFTA, Mr Adebayo stated Nigeria should put money into enhancing its vacationer infrastructure, together with lodging and transportation networks, to draw each home and worldwide guests.

He defined that Nigeria’s wealthy cultural heritage and various traditions needs to be showcased by focused advertising and marketing campaigns and the creation of cultural festivals, thereby growing tourism visitors and income.

“By selling its distinctive locations, together with historic websites, nationwide parks, and pure wonders. Nigeria must also accomplice with different African international locations to advertise cross-border tourism, promote intra-African journey and set up a single visa regime for the continent.

“Nigeria’s pure wonders, nationwide parks, and wildlife reserves current glorious alternatives for ecotourism and journey tourism, which may considerably increase tourism income and create employment alternatives,” he stated.

Air Journey

The minister added that Nigeria ought to prioritize the development of air connectivity by investing in trendy airports, air visitors management programs, and airways, which is able to facilitate journey inside Africa and past.

“Growing and upgrading highway, rail, and water transport networks will improve connectivity inside Nigeria and foster regional commerce and transportation hyperlinks, thereby leveraging the advantages of the AfCFTA.

“Streamlining customs procedures, decreasing bureaucratic bottlenecks, and investing in environment friendly logistics programs will improve Nigeria’s function as a transportation hub, attracting companies and fostering commerce throughout the continent,” he stated.

Mr Adebayo stated Nigeria should additionally concentrate on diversifying its export merchandise past oil, exploring alternatives in agriculture, manufacturing, and companies, to faucet into the rising demand inside the AfCFTA market.

“Assembly worldwide high quality requirements and complying with commerce laws will improve Nigeria’s competitiveness and permit its industries to thrive inside the AfCFTA.

“Encouraging innovation and investing in analysis and improvement will drive home industrialization, resulting in the manufacturing of upper value-added items and companies for export,” he stated.

He added that in 2019, the African tourism market was value an estimated $169 billion and supported 24 million jobs.

He stated whereas that is laudable, home, and regional contribution solely accounts for 55 per cent. Covid-19 has proven that markets should develop inner resilience, and so for the African tourism sector, intra-African tourism should enhance, he stated.

“Underneath the AfCFTA some progress is being made, for instance, since January 1st, 2023, Kenyans can now stay in and luxuriate in South Africa with no visa for 3 months a yr at most.

“Nevertheless, we should observe that Nigeria is considerably main the entrance, as residents of all African international locations can entry Nigeria’s visa-on-arrival service. Whereas that is laudable, Nigeria should transfer from visa on arrival to no visa for African enterprise individuals,” Mr Adebayo stated.

In his handle, Olusegun Awolowo, government secretary of the Nationwide Motion Committee on AfCFTA, stated the Nigerian authorities is dedicated to leveraging the alternatives offered by the AfCFTA to draw funding, foster cross-border commerce, develop tourism sector, and promote inclusive financial development that addresses the problems of unemployment, underemployment, and multidimensional poverty within the nation.