Tourism Planning and Development: A Panacea to Economic Recession in Nigeria.

ADEYEMO, A.
Department of Urban and Regional Planning,
Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria

AKINBODE, T.
Department of Urban and Regional Planning,
Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nigeria
                                   

BADA, Afolabi O.
Department of Urban and Regional Planning,
Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Edo State, Nigeria.




ABSTRACT
The current economic recession in Nigeria has come down heavily on the nation’s economy in no small way. Even though crude oil still remain the mainstay of the nation’s economy, diversification of economy and exploitation of potentials of tourism resources are seen as a panacea to the current economic meltdown in the country. This paper therefore identified various tourism potentials and resources readily available in the country. This ranges from water tourism resources, vegetal tourism resources to land scape tourism resources and anthropogenic cultural tourism resources. The authors observed that tourism planning and development in Nigeria is under- exploited despite the enormous potentials. Thus, the paper suggests strategies to adopt by the government, private sector, host communities as well as workers in the tourism industry to alleviate the poor state of tourist centres in Nigeria. The paper concludes that the tourism sector has very huge potentials which if fully supported and the menace of terrorism and kidnapping is curtailed in Nigeria, will contribute significantly to the economic diversification everybody is yarning for and Nigeria will bounce back from the two edged sword of economic meltdown ravaging the country.
Keywords: Economic recession, Economic diversification, Tourism development, Public-Private partnership

INTRODUCTION
            The national economic recession currently being experienced by Nigerians came at a time when democracy is gaining momentum in the history of the country. In Nigeria unlike some African countries, crude oil including its derivatives, had been and may remain a prominent feature of Nigeria’s external sector; and by implication , the pivot through which the nation’s economy revolves. The fact that the demand for the nation’s crude oil by the USA and other trade partners has drastically reduced and the sharp fall in the price of the commodity at the World market has ploughed Nigeria economy into serious mess, it is pertinent that the government and other stakeholders should start looking at other possibilities to bring the country out of the present situation.
            It is disheartening to hear that a country noted for her leading role in oil production and exportation in the continent of Africa suddenly became broke the government now goes around begging for grants and loans from foreign countries to finance her budget. As that was not enough, the country considered selling her national heritages just to remain float while over thirty million Nigerians are unemployed and more than two million lost their jobs owing to the economic meltdown ravaging the country. It is now a must for Nigeria to diversify her economy and venture into other resources that would miraculously boost her ailing economy if Nigeria does not want to be once upon a time in the corridor of nations. For this not to happen, the authors explored the world of tourism which is the world’s largest export earner and is considered by many to be the largest industry according to WTO, (2004) as the best compliment of oil exploration in Nigeria.
            Tourism according to WTO (2009) comprises the activities of persons travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environ or not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes. Paul (2000) defined tourism as recreation activities requiring at least one night’s stay away from home following a recreational interest. To him, tourism involves the movement of tourists from a generating region to a destination region for the purpose of adventure or relaxation. Tourism as defined by Ibimilua (2009) involves the movement and stay of foreigners inside and outside a city or region, provided the journey and stay of the stranger is not connected with remunerative activities. Despite little variation in the aforementioned definitions of tourism, the bottom line remains that tourists especially the foreigners would have to contribute positively to the economy of their hosting communities since monies will exchange hands.
            It is no more news that tourism has been a major generator of economic wealth for developed nations like UK, USA, Italy, Japan, China and the UAE. Today, African countries such as Kenya, Tanzania Mauritius, Egypt and Botswana are reaping the socio-economic and psychological benefits that are associated with tourism planning and development. Rural communities in Nigeria house some distinctive peculiarities which can be transformed into attractive tourist centres likewise the existing centre have been neglected as a result of the country’s over reliance on crude oil (Jiboku et al 2010). To worsen the situation in Nigeria, notable personalities in the country such as Politicians, Government officials, Academicians and Business executives’ jet out of the country at will to visit tourist centres in foreign countries all over the world at the detriment of their own neglected and or poorly developed ones.  The country side in Nigeria possesses considerable potentials for the development of tourist attractions. This is because it is in such an area that the native and the cultural heritage have been less disturbed compared to an urban setting (Paul 2000). Other things being equal, the degree of availability of such tourist resources in any given country will depend on the extent of her rurality because beautiful natural sceneries as well as cultural artifacts are far more available in the rural than in urban areas. The less developed countries much more than the developed ones therefore posses more of the potentials for the development of rural tourism.
            Nigeria, being a developing nation is still predominantly rural and so much diverse both in ecology and culture. The many ecological zones present a not- so-common opportunity for the development of various natured-based tourist attractions. Similarly, the multiplicity of culture in the country provides a good setting for the evolution of various cultural heritage based tourist facilities. Given this background, this paper examines the emergent trend in the development of rural and urban tourism resources to jet Nigeria out of her present economic wood. 
Motivation for this Study
            In Nigeria today, all the states of the federation are financially sick and nearing being grounded. Most state governors owe workers up to a whole year salary arrears. Industrial actions are no longer strange to these governors because of their over-reliance on the monthly allocation from Abuja which has drastically reduced. The acute fall in the price of crude oil in the world market couple with pipeline vandalization in the Niger-delta area has incapacitated the Federal Government to discharge her financial responsibility to all categories of its workers. Government is in huge foreign debts and still wants to borrow about $30 billion to finance her annual budget. The country’s economy may collapse completely if this trend continues and to avert what happened to Ghana’s economy in the early 80s in Nigeria, diversification of Nigeria economy to tourism and agriculture is therefore advocated by the authors.
             Tourism has grown rapidly to become one of the world’s foremost economic phenomena. The WTO in the year 2000 estimates that international tourist arrivals in 2020 will reach 1.6 billion worldwide and tourism receipts will exceed 2 trillion US dollar. Since most tourist centres worldwide are found in the rural communities and about 60% of international tourists can be considered as nature-based tourists. A study carried out by the World Resources Institute in 2000 also claimed that this type of tourism is increasing at an annual rate of 10% to 30% and will continue to play an important role in international tourism (Reingold, 1993).  


Tourism Resources and Potentials in Nigeria
            Nigeria tourism resources are diverse and largely unexplored. Adejuwon (1993) categorized tourism resources into two; they are natural tourism resources otherwise known as nature-based tourism resources and anthropogenic cultural tourism resources’ as earlier mentioned, substantial numbers of natural tourism resources in Nigeria are located in the rural areas while some of the anthropogenic ones are in the towns and cities.
This section of the paper will therefore identify and assess the tourism resources and their potentials towards solving the economic crisis in Nigeria. The tern nature-based tourism is generally applied to tourism activities depending on the use of natural resources which remain in a relatively undisturbed state, including scenery, topography, waterways, vegetation, wildlife, and cultural heritage (Ceballos-Lascurain, 1996). These and many more shall be discussed here under.
Water Tourism Resources                  
            These are tourism associated with water bodies, moving water and water relief such as lakes, rivers and oceans. Nigeria is blessed with an 800km coastline stretching from Badagry in the west to Calabar in the east. The beaches along this coastline which are low lying with maximum elevation of 3m above sea level are surf beaten and present excellent sites of beauty for beach resorts. Beaches all over the world especially in the advanced countries are well developed for tourist resorts. However, beach resort industry in Nigeria is still in its infancy. The Bar-beach, Lekki beach and Badagry beach in Lagos have been the most frequently visited beaches compare with those along eastern Mediterranean coast. The Araromi sea-side beach in Ilaje Local Government area of Ondo State and many others along the coast remain undeveloped or underdeveloped.
            With the oil slump now, water tourism could be explored as a source of earning for the country. Since Nigeria is blessed with vast and naturally beautiful beaches, the development of coastal beaches could attract foreign and local tourists. Springs such as Ikogosi Warm and cold springs in Ekiti State and Wikki warm spring in Bauchi State as well as water falls in Erin-Ijesha water fall in Osun State, Ipole-Iloro water fall in Ekiti State and Asop water fall near Jos in Plateau State should also be commercialized and privatized for the betterment of the nation’s economy. The Ikogosi warm and cold springs flow side by side and come to a meeting point, and flow onward together with each spring retaining its thermal identity represents uniqueness and misery and is the first of such occurrence in the world. The warm spring according to Kukoyi et. al (2013), has a temperature of up to 700C Celsius at the source and 370C Celsius after meeting the cold spring. The meeting point of the two springs is a unique attraction to tourists. The spring sprout out and flow with a constant temperature and volume up to 150 litres/second every day, all seasons, all year round. Another unique quality of the springs is its acclaimed curative power. It is widely believed to have some kind of therapeutic effects which relieves body aches, heal water borne diseases and all sorts of ailments. This site will certainly for a long time attract tourists especially foreigners which will in turn the ailing economy.All natural and artificial lakes, confluence, river ports, river banks and delta all over Nigeria should be developed to international standard to attract visitors.
Vegetal Tourism Resources
            The idea behind the establishment of the initial National parks and game reserves in Nigeria was to protect and ensure the survival of wildlife and their habitats. Although, the system of parks and game reserves may still be to some extent in its infancy, the current need for tourism development to earn foreign exchange should be built into the operation of many of these areas. Nigeria is abundantly enriched with forest/game reserves, almost evenly spread across the country. There are about 840 forest/game reserves in Nigeria (Onokerhoraye, 1985), although, less than 10% are actually developed. The first game reserve was established in Yankari, Bauchi State in January 1956 which covers 2244sq/km of savanna woodland. It is now well stocked with wild animals like Elephants, Hippos, Leopards, water-bucks, Buffaloes, Antelopes, Baboons, Monkeys, Lions, Hyenas, Gazelles and a wide variety of birds (Emielu, 1996). Another attraction of the game reserve is that it has a warm spring –‘Wikki warm spring’ which is usually used as a swimming pool. Today, there are national parks in Oyo, Kainji, Okonu, Oban and Abuja and scores of other game reserves all over the country.
            The Kainji lake National park, which is made up of Bargu game reserve with an area of 3970sq/km and the 1370sq/km Zugurma game reserve in Niger State also has a large variety of stock. These include among others, Buffaloes, Leopards, Lions, Hyenas, Elephants, Baboons, Monkeys, Hippopotamus, and Manatees. During the dry season, the Oli river breaks into pools constitutes the main grounds for sports fishing. River Oli in Bargu sector and Manyara River in Zurguma sector of the park provide very good grounds for sports fishing all the year round. The Kainji Lake is 136 km long and 25 km at its widest point bringing the total area to about1270sq/km (Ajayi et al, 1982). The park operates an all year round cruise on lake Kainji which offers unique opportunities of viewing local and migratory birdlife and reptiles on the lake. Visitors to the lake Kainji National park will be opportune to enjoy a conducted tour of the nation’s premier Hydro-Electric Power Generating complex at the Kaiji dam. There are also a number of historic sites to be seen in the park.
            Old Oyo National park formerly named Upper Ogun Games Reserve is located in Ifedapo Local Government Area of Oyo State. The park if well developed according to Afolayan, (1987), is capable of attracting visitors from all over the world because of its uniqueness. The park was formed from the Upper Ogun River and Old Oyo forest reserve established in 1936. It was changed to Old Oyo national park in 1988. Historically, the park was is located in an area which was the nerve centre of the Old Oyo Empire. The ruins of the capital – Oyo-Ile still exists within the park, constituting a high reserve of central materials to Historians and archeologists.
            The National park is endowed with a diversity of animal species. The following mammalian fauna have been documented by Ayodele, (1988) and may be conspicuously observed in the park. Baboons, Buffaloes, Bush-buck, Caracel, Civet, Elephants Genet, Hunting dog, Kob,Monkey and White-tailed Mongoose. The commonly observed birds are; Black kite, Cattle Egret, Doublesperres, Green Pigeon and Green backed eremomela, Grey hornbill, Guinea-fowl, Long crested hawk eagle, langhing dove, Purple heron and Osprey. Nile crocodile, Nile monitor lizard, Hinged, Tortoise, Black cobra, Rock python, Royal python, Agama lizard and chameleon are among the reptiles commonly found in the park.
            The advantages of preserving our natural environment in the form national parks and Game reserves are obvious. First, well developed National park backed with adequate publicity will no doubt encourage the influx of both local and foreign tourists to such areas. Also, a well developed and functional park will encourage business- oriented people in such localities to invest in other revenue generating ventures which will further boost the local economy in particular and the country in general. National park organization and management according to Ayodele (1988) had performed wonders in boosting the economy of east and North African countries. Nigeria too would benefit immensely from nature preservation and tourism, given her diverse ecological zones, plants and animal species.

Forest Reserves/Forest Plantation
            Forest reserves are the area of land where varieties of three species are planted in large numbers and there harvesting are strictly controlled by the government. They are different from the ‘open’ forests which are not controlled. Threes play an important role in the lives of human being. In rural environments, forestry is one of the few rural activities which can be successfully integrated with agriculture, wildlife conservation and water resources development. They are thus potentials avenues for recreation, leisure and tourism (Areola, 1996, Onokerhoraye, 1985).
            Just as it was observed in game reserves earlier in this paper, one of the attractions of forest reserves is in the appreciation of the beauty of nature. The attraction normally arises because much of the forest being virgin, there is possibility of seeing and admiring unique plants and threes. The reserves and plantations also provide a good setting for camping. Forest reserves unlike game reserves are wildly spread across all the thirty six states of the federation and in all the ecological zones of the country. The number of forest reserves in Nigeria was rapidly increased between 1900 and 1980 bringing its total to 936 at the end of 1980 (Afolayan 1987). While the first forest reserve was established in 1900 at Olokemeji in Oyo State, the largest number today is in Bornu State while Lagos State with only one has the smallest. There is no doubt that there is a relationship between population pressure on land and the extensiveness of forest reserves.

Landscape Tourism Resources
            These tourism resources are related to the unique topographical structure of many areas in Nigeria as a result of morphological formation and geomorphological processes. These special resources are found virtually in all the thirty six states in Nigeria and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory. Examples of such resources in Nigeria include ; Idanre and Oke Maria  hills in Ondo State, Somorika hill in Edo State, Olosunta hills  and Orole Inselberg in Ikere Ekiti and particularly Efon Alaaye hills which are the watershed of Rivers Oni, Olua and Owena. There is Esa cave in Iyin Ekiti which has the capacity for over 600 people and Ogbunike cave near Onitsha in Anambra State, the Olumo rock in Ogun State, Zuma rock in Abuja, Obudu cattle ranch in Cross River State and the Mambila Plateau which has an attractive cool temperate environment. Riyom Share hills on the top of Jos Plateau which happen to be the highest points in Nigeria. Unfortunately, most of these tourism resources mentioned above are vastly underdeveloped and untapped.
Sport Tourism Resources
            Nigeria should use sport tourism potentials to generate huge amount of money. It has been discovered that the developed countries such as the UK, Spain, Italy, Germany and France generate billions of dollar monthly from stadium gate fees, television rights, taxes from players, coaches, and other workers in the sport related activities. There are stadia built across the federation and if regional stadia are built across the six geo-political zones of the country would help Nigeria bid for FIFA and other international tournaments as it is being done by South Africa Brazil, USA and other European countries earlier mentioned. The huge population of the country compared with other African countries should be utilized in sport tourism by sensitizing and encouraging the citizens to visit stadia across the nation and watch sporting activities. This will not only generate huge amount of money to the government but will also elongate the life span of the citizenry. Sport tourism provides opportunity for relaxation and aids physical and mental health of human body.
Cultural Tourism Resources
            Nigeria is greatly endowed with varying cultural practices and festivals across each state of the federation. Countries with heterogeneous culture and promoted festivals such as Brazil, Cuba, India, China and Japan have benefited tremendously from showcasing their rich cultures and heritages. Annually, millions of cultural tourists visit these and other countries to observe and or participate in cultural festivals, rituals and games (Akintola and Areola 1982). This type of tourism has provided platform to attract foreigners to spend their money in the visited countries which has had ripple effects on the host nations’ economies.
            There are hundreds of cultural festivals, carnivals, annual tribal rituals, cultural games and traditional celebrations in Nigeria which when properly developed and publicized would be quite ready to become a Mecca of sorts to all lovers of culture, nature and leisure. Examples include; Eyo festival in Lagos State, Osun –Osogbo festival in Osun State, Abuja, Cross-River and Port-Harcourt anuall carnivals. Others are Argungu fishing festival on the river Sokoto, Olojo festival in Ile-Ife, Udi-iroko festival in Ado-Ekiti and Ogun Festival in Ondo city and Ikere-Ekiti. All these remain either underdeveloped or underutilized in nigeria despite being potential destinations if rural tourism potentials are properly harnessed, packaged and promoted.
Other Areas for Tourism Attention
Palaces: Nigeria is also blessed with a lot of Obas’ palaces which should interest both local and foreign tourists. The preservation of palaces like that of Alaafin of Oyo, Ooni of Ife, Sultan of Sokoto, Emir of Kano, Ewi of Ado-Ekiti and that of Oba of Benin will serve as historical landmarks that can provide the educational need of the tourists as well as presenting the diverse socio-cultural settings our great nation.
Burial grounds: There are quite a lot of eminent graves in Nigeria that can serve as tourist centres . For example, the myth surrounding the grave of Birikisu Sugbo in Ijebu-Ode area in Ogun state is that the Queen of Shebba died on that spot. We have the memorable graves of Chief Obafemi Awolowo at Ikenne in Ogun State, Tafawa Balewa tomb in Bauchi, Fela Anikulapo Kuti in Lagos. Lt. coronel Adekunle Fajuyi and Adunni Olayinka  Tombs are also in Ekiti State. We also have the burial grounds of some past prominent traditional and spiritual leaders such as Alaafin of Oyo, Ooni of Ife, Nnamdi Azikwe popularly called ‘Zik of Africa’ and pastor Ayo Babalola, a renowned world evangelist. All these and many more tombs in Nigeria are capable of attracting tourists.
Venerated trees and gods: Certain venerated trees are found scattered in the country. The spiritual significance of such trees and gods such as Osanyin and Ifa oracle lies in the ability to forecast present and future occurrences as well as revealing past hidden occurrences. They are capable of accurate predictions and forecasting of football match results as it was done by the German’s Octopus  in 2010 FIFA world cup tournament held in South Africa. The venerated trees that readily come to mind include the Ore tree in Ile-Ogbo close to Owo in Ondo State and Oju Olobun tree in Lagos. There is the need to preserve these super-natural gods and trees so that they do not fall off like did the trees under which the first set of missionary deliberated in Badagry area of Lagos State. These trees and others will definitely provide a kind of tourist attraction for the young generation whose faith and exposition may find the sight of such monument very interesting their preservation will also preserve the potency of supernatural forces and African beliefs before the advent of western religion.
Museums and other historical architectural and modern landmarks in Lagos, Abuja, Benin, Ile-Ife, Oyo, Owo and Kaduna will definitely attract local and foreign tourists if they are well managed and maintained.

Strategies to Improve Tourism Centres in Nigeria
            Tourism is of central importance to social, cultural and economic lives in the twenty-first century. Going by the tourism potentials of the country, it is crystal clear that tourism remains a most viable foreign exchange earner for Nigeria and will help in creating employment opportunities for many Nigerians and expatriates. Tourism according to Awartete (2005), Ogunboye et al (2008), Dimoska (2008) and Ekechukwu (2010) has been reported to be a major resource and foreign exchange earner, indeed the second single item after crude oil in world trade. Thus, in order to get Nigeria out of her present ocean of economic recession and to reduce our overdependence on crude oil as the mainstay of the economy, the two actors i.e. government and the private sector should established a roadmap strategy capable of doing the magic. The authors therefore suggest the following strategies among others as the panacea to the economic melt-down currently ravaging the nation.
            The three tiers of government in nigeria should undertake an inventory and identify all the existing and potential tourism resources of the country for further development. One major challenge in planning in Nigeria is the paucity of data Awaritete, (2005). In Panning, development and redevelopment of tourist sites in Nigeria, there should be a specific focus on sustaining both the rudimentary nature of tourist activities as well as the possible advantages of it. Government should therefore provide a sustainable and conducive environment for tourism investment to strive by facilitating, promoting and coordinating partnership with the private sector for tourism development. Mc William (2007) states that for tourism to actually generate the potential revenue there is need for partnership between private and public sector operating in the area. It is therefore expedient for government for government to leverage the private sector expertise in evolving a pragmatic change in the tourism industry. The era where each state government has its own politically motivated tourism agenda should be done away with.
            Government should do the needful for tourism promotion and awareness. The foreign missions should be at the head of Nigeria’s tourism promotion internationally. This could be done by re-organizing ‘Know Nigeria’ exhibitions and programmes which would be geared towards educating the world on the warmth and hospitality of the Nigerian people and the abundance of tourist sites. Also, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) needs to be strengthened so that Nigeria can evolve a national policy on tourism and rural development that would harmonize divergent efforts of local and state governments. With this, all willing investors will only take directive from one central body even though the tourist attraction centres are scattered all over the country.
            As observed by Ozgen (2003), the local residents have the capacity to positively influence the outcome of tourism developments in their communities. They can be active drivers of change and promotion; being the immediate members of the community, there is a need to ensure that they accept the development, in this way, there will be a sense of belonging on the part of the locals. This will in turn give them the feeling that the success or otherwise of the development is their collective business. Community engagement and impact of development must be given high cognizance as lack of community acceptance will have adverse on any development. Government should therefore facilitate regrouping of villages through the creation of central market, town and tourist centres in specific parts of rural landscape. This will be a source of opening up the rural areas which will balance tourist demand, local human, cultural and natural resources.
            Unawareness of tourist sites and the lackadaisical attitude of locals to the centres within their community have shown that there is need for conceited efforts on the part of tourism regeneration planners and local development officials to engage with the local communities in order to promote tourism at community levels. Tourism industry according to Ibimilua (2009) is capable to employ millions of Nigerian while over $ 150 billion annual earnings is being targeted from tourism industry alone worldwide. It is indeed disheartening and comes as a surprise that Ayodele et al survey carried out in 1990 revealed the following; only 55% of Nigerians were aware of tourist destinations in their area, out of this figure, 46% of them were academics from higher institution of learning; a negligible 5.8% and 2.3%   were among civil servant and business executives respectively. This demonstrates a chronic case of unawareness and seeming lack of interest at least on the part of the respondents.
            Government urgently needs to work hard at reorientation of Nigerians about the value of our local resources. There is urgent need for integrated and holistic reorientation of all the stakeholders likewise to adequate and attractive publicity in other to get the attention and patronage of tourists. The authors therefore call on the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to be at the forefront educating Nigerians on the potentials of tourism as a huge source of massive foreign exchange
            Development of infrastructures such as roads, communication facilities, electricity, water, hotels and health safety facilities should be properly developed and provided in manners that will minimize the ecological footprints of tourism and to a standard that encourages internal and international tourism. This is the only way the positive gains from tourism can be maximized. The proportion of income that is lost in local areas according to Porosser (2002) as leakages can be controlled. This requires the understanding of the many ways that tourism can leak out of an economy (Vaugeois, 2000) and allow for effective strategies that can be devised to minimize it. Sedai (2006) stated that lack of proper infrastructures like hotels, shopping and cultural activities is a major impediment to tourism promotion. Easy access to tourism destinations through good road network is a primary requirement of tourism attraction of a place, the urgent development of excellent road network to the tourist destinations will help improve the strength of the attraction. Infrastructure development should be given priority in Nigeria. Government at all levels should therefore facilitate, promote and coordinate resurgent partnership with the private sector to achieve this.
Effective training and education should be provided by the government in order to create professionalisms in the industry towards efficiency in service delivery. Tertiary institutions should be encouraged to run undergraduate and postgraduate programs in tourism and hospitality. This could be done by awarding research grants and counterpart founding to the institutions. Training and retraining as identified by Ekanayeke (2012) is a key factor to the success of any organization. Current and future staff and workers of Nigeria tourism and recreation centres must be provided with proper training in terms of communicating, accommodating and service delivery to the visitors in order to create visitor satisfaction especially the foreigners. The visitors should be well briefed about the activities and services provided by the centres. They could also be given relevant documentation regarding possible questions that visitors may ask.
            Finally, if the current security services provided by the security agents are not improved upon in Nigeria, the fear of being killed by the Boko-Haram insurgents in the north, kidnapping for ransom by the Niger-delta militants in the south as well as abduction of people for ritual activities in the west may keep foreign tourists away from Nigeria and also keep all the aforementioned recommendations permanently in a refrigerated cooler for decades. We hereby call on all the concerned authorities to beef up security in the country so as to achieve the objectives of this paper.
Conclusion
            Tourism today globally has become a major source and weapon of economic diversification for many countries, underpinning the service sector and forging effective backward and forward linkages with the rest of the economy allowing new employment and income earning opportunities. Nigeria remains a land of stupendous potentials and what the government needs to do is to get its heart together and do the needful. The need for economic diversification is now and overwhelming because of her defining mono-cultural economic characteristics where only one commodity dominates export and provides the bulk of foreign exchange.
            At this juncture, it is quite expedient to engage the private sector in the reorganization of tourism industry in Nigeria. Huge funds need to be injected into the industry by the government and provide a level playing field for potential investors. It is hoped that if government vigorously deal with the menace of terrorism (enflamed by the Boko-Haram sect and Niger-delta militants), the adoption of the strategies for tourism development in Nigeria as a way of economic diversification will definitely rescue the country from the woods of the ongoing economic meltdown.                                                      


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