Mr Folorunsho Coker, the Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), has stressed the need for more funding and social intervention to boost the tourism sector in the country.
Coker told newsmen on Friday, in Abuja, that funding had a major impact on the performance of his agency considering its function to promote tourism.
According to him, injecting more funds into the tourism sector will make it thrive more, increase influx of tourists, and generate more revenue for both the government and private investors.
He decried the poor budgetary allocation to the sector which he said had affected its development and reduced job opportunities.
The NTDC boss emphasised the need for intervention fund in the nation’s tourism industry stressing that “tourism is the largest employer of labour”.
According to him, the corporation has a role as a marketing arm of tourism sector and needed funding to market it’s product to the public.
The NTDC boss who said that partnering with the private sector was important, however, noted that private sector funding was not forthcoming due to the present economic reality.
Coker also noted that funding has a major impact on the performance of his agency considering its function to promote tourism.
He decried late release of funds to the corporation which he described as a factor hindering the performance of the corporation.
“There is a difference between money appropriated in the budget and actual releases.
“It is the actual releases that determines how much can be spent, we have to prioritise our spending based on what we have at hand,” he said.
Coker further said that enabling environment was key in tourism development and thereby advocated for a legal framework.
He, however, pledged commitment of the corporation to partner with stakeholders to move tourism to an enviable height.