26th January, 2016
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has called for the relaxation of the nation’s visa policy so that visitors to Nigeria can easily be given entry visas.
The minister, who spoke while briefing the Senate Committee on Culture and Tourism in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the advocated policy would boost tourism. He said that granting visitors’ visas on arrival, would go a long way in making the country tourists’ destination.
The minister added that government must improve the state of infrastructure and tourism sites across the country; so as to make Nigeria attractive to tourists.
“People talk about terrorism, but I can tell you that terrorism is not the major issue hindering tourism in Nigeria. There is more terrorism in Israel than in Nigeria, but yet people troop to that country every year for pilgrimage.
“Again, imagine a beautiful tourism site like the Obudu Resort, but the flight arrangement is such that when you go to Obudu on a Saturday for instance, there is no flight until the next Saturday. How do you expect a tourist to undertake such adventure,” he queried, adding,“ we have to make the tourism sites very attractive and accessible.”
In his remarks, Chairman of the committee, Sen. Matthew Urhoghide, urged the ministry officials to initiate new programmes that can make Nigeria an attractive tourists’ destination.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the agencies and departments under the ministry were billed to defend their budget before the Committee on Appropriation on Feb. 16.