By Ayo Akinfe
(1) So we enter August, the height of the summer period when tourism is at its peak. Hundreds of countries make billions during this period but alas, does Nigeria make a dime?
(2) Do we even keep records of how many tourists visit Nigeria annually?
(3) Before we can even begin to look at the sector, we need to address security concerns. This government scores zero over 10 when it comes to providing security. If anything the government is making the situation worse with its irresponsible Ruga policy that has heightened tension across the country
(4) A failure to clamp down on Fulani herdsmen, the senseless alienation of the Shiites, provoking ethnic passions, etc, all combine to make Nigeria an unsuitable tourist destination
(5) This picture is of the Mambilla Plateau, which straddles Adamawa and Taraba states. It is arguably the most beautiful part of Nigeria and were it well managed, would fetch us billions in tourist revenue
(6) Do you that the area bordering Cameroon boasts of wildlife like giraffes, gorillas, leopards, elephants, etc. Why do we not have an internationally acclaimed wildlife sanctuary like the Kruger National Park there?
(7) We also have the Koma people in this area. They should treat visitors to their unadulterated culture wooing them with local cuisine and dances
(8) If I had my way, Taraba State would be declared a national wildlife sanctuary, limiting human activities there. We have 36 states, offering one to animals cannot be a bad thing. I would look to import other exotic beasts not native to Africa like kangaroos, pandas and tigers into the area to add to its mystique
(9) By the time you invest say $5bn in hotels, restaurants, roads, a railway link, bars, resorts, etc, you will have a cash cow that generates billions a year. I actually think the way forward is to carve out Mambilla State from Taraba and Adamawa and built it as a dedicated “animal state.” We only want staff and tourists there
(10) This our fixation with crude oil is our bane. If half the revenue invested prospecting for oil in the Lake Chad Basin was invested in tourism, the northeast would be a tourist haven today, not a den of terrorists