President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration has attractive investment incentives in the tourism industry such as pioneer status to all major tourism projects; Minimum tariff on imported tourism equipment, amusement park equipment and materials for hotel construction and furnishing.
Mr Buhari, who disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 61st meeting of United Nations World Tourism Organization, Commission for Africa, said other incentives include: “Dedicated transportation for tour operators and equipment for restaurants not manufactured in Nigeria.
“Minimum duty on Casino equipment; Work permit for foreign workers with specialized skills within the industry; and Land at a concessionary rate by state governments to tourism investors.”
The president, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Boss Mustapha, said the government is currently deepening the legislative and institutional capacities for the protection of intellectual property rights in Nigeria.
According to him, the legislation would give all investors the assurance of security of their rights especially in the creative industry.
“Your Excellencies, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, it may interest you to note that Nigeria is a country with a population of over 180 million people and over 250 ethnic groups, each with a unique story, and these stories are finding expression in our movies, music and many other creative ideas.
“Our music and movies, in particular, have taken the world by storm and, for the creative young talents in our dear country, Nigeria, the best is yet to come.
“It is on this basis that I call on tourists and investors in the tourism sector to consider Nigeria as their second home. This government has attractive investment incentives for investors in the tourism sector.”
He further added that “government is also deepening the legislative and institutional capacities for the protection of intellectual property rights in Nigeria. This will give all investors the assurance of security of their rights especially in the creative industry.
He, however, commended the leadership of the UNWTO, the Commission for Africa (CAF) and, the Tourism Ministers from all over Africa for considering Nigeria worthy of hosting the event this year.
In his address, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said the theme of this year’s meeting, “Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development,” is quite apt and timely as Nigeria is witnessing giant strides in the development of viable and sustainable alternatives to oil and gas.
Speaking further, the minister said that tourism has become an important sector of the economy for many member states, especially as an important source of foreign exchange earnings, employment generation and income creation, in addition to encouraging infrastructural development and poverty reduction.
“For us in Nigeria, it is one of the sectors we have identified as very key to our economic diversification agenda.
“The sustained growth of the tourism industry illustrates how this all-important sector, with its added advantage of infinitude, can assist member states’ economies to reap the benefits of globalization”.
He, therefore, said “this meeting, therefore, provides an excellent opportunity to discuss ways and means to promote intra-Africa travels and tourism, leveraging on our vast and unique resources and our number, for mutual benefit to all member states.
“It is my expectation that this meeting will also serve as a platform towards establishing stronger linkages and functional collaboration among member states in order to realize the potentials with which the continent is endowed with.
“On our part, as a country, we are doing everything possible to move the Tourism Sector into the mainstream of the economy.
“Realizing that modern infrastructure is critical to tourism development, we are investing heavily in the development of infrastructure.”