Residents of Lokoja, Kogi, has called on government at all levels to focus more attention on the development of the tourism sector.
The residents spoke to NAN on Saturday on the sideline of the World Tourism Day (WTD). WTD is held annually on 27 September to create awareness, among the international community, of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.
Mr Ajayi Balogun, a retired civil servant, who worked with Kogi Ministry of Tourism, said that government was not doing enough to develop tourism, especially at the state and local levels.
He further called on the three tiers of government to extend their dragnet into communities to develop tourist sites available in those areas.
Doing so, he added, would be in line with this year’s theme of the event, “Tourism and Community Development.
“Apart from the fact that tourism brings development, it will also provide employment opportunities for the youth, thereby reducing unemployment in the state.
“Tourism is widely acknowledged for its capacity to respond to national and global challenges, therefore, government should give priority to developing tourist centres in the country,” he said.
Mr Adesayo Alao, also a retired civil servant, called on the Kogi Government to harness the great tourism potential that abound in the state.
According to him, the state is endowed with a lot of tourist sites, the development of which would attract foreign and local tourists and boost the revenue profile of the state.
“Kogi State is a confluence state where the two major rivers in Nigeria meet.
“This natural endowment can be harnessed with immense benefits that will boost the economy of the state,” Alao said.
Tourist attractions in the state include the first primary school in the North, built in 1846, the Lord Lugard resting house at Mounti Patti, among others.
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