Nigerian youths have been advised to take advantage of the numerous employment opportunities in the nations tourism industry rather than rely on the government for jobs.
The experts made the call at this years World Tourism Day celebration organised by the National Tourism Development Commission, NTDC, South-South Zone, Calabar, the capital of Cross River State in southern Nigeria.
The South-South zonal Coordinator, Mrs. Ntiense Olaoye said ”the theme of this years celebration Tourism and Job: A Better Future for All” is to encourage the teeming unemployed, particularly the youths, to be actively involved in the sector.”
“What tourism has done so far is to make people become creative; become empowered and we have done so much in that area. As a commission, we have held series of training sessions for youths to become entrepreneurs in this sector,’‘Mrs olaoye who is chief host of the event stated.
According to her, ”during the carnival, we do not focus so much on the parades, but the business going on. You see a lot of petty businesses ; people showcase their products, crafts, I mean things made with their hands such as we have on display at our exhibition stands.”
The Zonal Coordinator further disclosed that the commission was committed to developing domestic tourism and exposing the different job opportunities to Nigerians, including women.
She stated, “right now, we are trying to see how we can develop our domestic tourism and if we have to do that, we have to encourage others, most especially our youths and women to develop themselves by not depending on the government”.
”Tourism cuts across everything; tourism is the work of life and so we have to key in to it, and that is why the theme for this year, Tourism and Job, a Better future for All’ is apt. So, if the youths, women, men can key in to what tourism is providing, life would be better for all of us now and in the future,” she emphasised.
Mr Olaoye advised those yet to embark on vocational training to sign up for any of the entrepreneurial training sponsored by government agencies, international non-profit organisations and other to develop skills that would enable them generate income in tourism.
Also speaking at the occasion, Akpet Ogon, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Cross River State, noted that tourism transcended all sectors of job creation.
Ogon, who represented the State Governor, Ben Ayade stressed that it was important that youths identify the job openings available in the Cross River tourism sector, which hinges on the culture of the people.
Ndidem Patrick Oqua Agbor, the Ndidem of the Quas and paramount ruler of Calabar Municipality, commended the NTDC for hosting this years event within his domain and partnering with the traditional institution to boost tourism.
Dr. Patrick Agbor also commended the Nigerian Government for promoting unity through the diverse culture of the people, saying ”tourism enables people learn about others; it exposes us to the many cultures and brings enlightenment and appreciation for others. I encourage us as a people, as Nigerians to improve ourselves and impact positively on our communities.”
The highpoint of the celebration was a lecture presented by the immediate past Chairman of the Cross River Tourism Bureau, Clement Omena.
Highlights of the events include; arts and craft exhibitions, medical outreach also tagged medical tourism and cultural display by some talented youths group.