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2019: Atiku reveals plans to boost tourism sector

Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2019 general elections, Atiku Abubakar, has revealed his plans to boost the tourism and culture sectors in Nigeria.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in his recently released policy document, the former Vice President proposed to enlist the help of private sector in transforming the sectors into major earners for the country.

The document noted the challenges of the culture and tourism sectors in Nigeria which include inadequate promotion of local culture, and poor support for arts and cultural centres across the country.

It also decried the demonisation of Nigeria’s artefacts and under-funding of the tourism sector  despite the rich exotic landscapes and historical monuments the country is blessed with.

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He promised to “invest, along with an incentivized private sector, to transform the culture and tourism sector into one of the big earners of foreign exchange as part of our strategy to diversify the economy.”

Atiku also stated that his administration would revive parks and cultural festivals, especially the bi-annual National Festival of Arts and Culture.

He would “promote local traditional festivals, so as to revive the culture and traditions of our people Revive National Parks driven by the private sector.

“Each of the over 350 ethnic groups in Nigeria has a traditional festival to display or a special form of creativity to offer contemporary society,” the document said.

According to the policy document, Atiku would also encourage intervention fund and increase budget support for culture and tourism.

He would “encourage States to develop tourist destinations to attract home based and foreign tourists. Advocate the granting of loans and grants to qualified practitioners.

“Encourage talented individuals to harness, and showcase abroad, certain aspects of our literary material and performance traditions.” (NAN)