Bashir Jamoh, the director general of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), has called for collaboration between the tourism and maritime sectors in Nigeria.
He said that with the enormous resources inherent in the maritime sector, the tourism industry will be an easy and low-hanging fruit for Nigeria’s economic development agenda.
Jamoh stated this at the 6th National Tourism Transportation Summit and Expo organised by the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN), in collaboration with the Ministries of Transportation, Aviation, Information and Culture in Abuja.
Speaking on the topic, ‘Tourism and the Development of Nigeria’s Blue Economy,’ Jamoh said that tourism is one sector in which Nigeria is doing very well but unfortunately, the marine tourism component is one area where the country is currently lagging behind when compared to other economies of the world.
He said a well-managed tourism sector can support conservation while contributing to sustainable development and providing income opportunities and a higher quality of life.
Jamoh assured that maritime safety and security are sacrosanct for marine tourism development adding that there was a need for stakeholders to support all engagements and government policies on preservation of Nigeria’s biodiversity, maritime ecosystem and other endowments, which are valuable assets for marine tourism development.
He said that the benefits from tourism would only be achieved with security guarantees, suggesting that this could be achieved by closing gaps and linking associated cities through the building of infrastructure, while the bodies of water between them are used for tourist attractions.
“Research shows that the oceans economy is worth about $20 trillion including the fishing, pharmaceutical and renewable energy industries. Therefore, we have to develop, preserve and protect our maritime endowments and link these industries appropriately, to achieve the desired goal.
“As a government agency, NIMASA will always play that complementary role in supporting economic growth and development. We have invested a lot in the acquisition and deployment of maritime security assets. So, I urge stakeholders in the maritime sector to take advantage of what we have done and invest in relevant marine tourism areas because our waters are now safe,” Jamoh said.
The 6th National Tourism Transportation Summit, aimed at discovering and exploring the opportunities in the Nigeria tourism sector was themed, “AFCFTA: Exploring Intra-African Trade, Tourism and Transportation Opportunities and Mitigating the Barriers to Collaboration”.