Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, the former Director-General of the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC), emphasizes the pivotal role of tourism in Nigeria’s economic future.
Runsewe asserts that, with the possibility of diminishing oil revenues and a global shift away from fossil fuels, tourism emerges as the next crucial revenue frontier for the country.
According to dailytrust.com, He underscores the significance of this sector as a reliable source of income for both federal and state governments, signaling the potential for economic diversification and sustainability in the face of changing global dynamics.
He spoke in Lagos when travel, tourism and culture stakeholders gathered to celebrate the 60th birthday of an African travel and tourism icon, Ambassador Ikechi Uko, held at the National Museum, Onikan.
Uko is the organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Accra Weizo, Abuja Jabamah and initiator of Naija 7 Wonders.
Speaking at the birthday event organised by a committee of friends, Runsewe said in developing the tourism sector which he described as Nigeria’s next oil, the country must celebrate the contribution of people who have contributed to the growth of the tourism sector.
He said Uko has impacted greatly in the development of African tourism through his various platforms.
Runsewe commended him for what he called his remarkable contributions toward the growth of the tourism, travel, aviation and hospitality industries not only in Nigeria but also in the African continent.
Tourism stakeholders and Friends of Mr. Ikechi from South Africa, Kenya, Ghana, Rwanda, Gambia and the Former Minister of Seychelles Alain St.Ange were in Lagos for the event.
The organisers also decorated the walls of the National Museum with Naija7wonders which Mr. Uko initiated.
They installed a huge African Cooking Pot to recognise his role in making Jollof Rice popular globally with the Jollof Wars started with Ghana Tourism Authority in 2016.
St. Ange who said Uko has done well for African tourism prayed he will keep delivering for Africa.
President of the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP), Mrs. Ime Udoh thanked Uko, on behalf of the tour operators for supporting NATOP.
Chairman of the Carnival Calabar Commission, Mr Gabe Onah while wishing Uko happy 60th birthday, Commended him for always supporting Carnival Calabar and for helping to transform the carnival with his touch of excellence.