The banditry, kidnapping and insecurity bedevilling Northwest has frozen out tourism activities and ruled out the region as tourist destination, National President, Hospitality and Tourism Management Association of Nigeria (HATMAN), Samson Atturu, has said.
Addressing inauguration of Northwest Executive Council of Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) in Kaduna on Saturday with the theme: Security Challenges and its Implication for Tourism Development in Northwest Zone, Atturu said kidnapping, banditry and other criminalities in the region have forced tourists to change destination resulting in massive loss of income in the region.
According to Atturu, the problem got to its height when the Kaduna – Abuja expressway that linked the zone to the FCT and a route to tourist became target of bandits and kidnappers. He noted that the development is unhealthy for the growth and development of tourism in the country.
He cited the case of an immigrant who was kidnapped and raped along Kaduna – Abuja expressway in 2019, as one of the many atrocities that sent off tourists from the zone.
Also speaking, Vice President, Northwest, FTAN, Prince Ayodele Arokoyo, said the creation of the council is one of the steps to revive tourism in the zone. He said oil may not last too long, but tourism will never be phased out, adding that it could even be a lasting solution to Insecurity..
Ayodele explained that FTAN will form a synergy with government and other stakeholders to work on a roadmap to revitalize tourism in zone, adding that the Association make a change by taking critical look at various components of tourists attraction in the region…
Kaduna state Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology, Mr Idris Samaila Nyam, said the theme couldn’t have come at any better time than now because of the security challenges in the zone. He said tourism contributes to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), and is a sector that has not been very active but all that is about to change..
“We have enough tourism sites, where people are degrading the sites, they might be doing it deliberately, or doing it in error, or being naive, so there is a need for the government to come out, even at national levels to bring out laws and regulations to protects these sites, they are valuable assets,” he said.