The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed on Wednesday said the Federal Government has granted a three-year tax exemption and export incentives to intending tourism investors.
Mohammed, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs Grace Isu-Gekpe said this during the fourth edition of the Tourism Investors Forum and Exhibition (NTIFE) held in Abuja.
He said the incentives would ensure that the sector met the country’s development expectations in line with the National Tourism policy of Nigeria and existing fiscal incentive regime for investment.
“The government, in its efforts at ensuring that tourism meets the country’s development expectations, has provided some actual and potentials incentives.
“ Tax exemption for up to three years, export incentives, land at concessionary rate, import/export incentives and work permit to foreigners with specialized skill among others,’’ Mohammed said.
The minister stressed the role the sector played in improving the economy through harnessing the vast potentials in it, which he said would serve as a catalyst for diversifying the nation’s economy and job creation.
He said that “programmes and policies to fully harness the country’s vast tourism potentials over the next one and half decades are anchored in the National Tourism Development Master Plan.’’
According to him, the lack of accurate statistics on arrivals and receptions, were major challenges confronting the tourism sector, hence the ministry with the support of the United Nations World Tourism Organisations (UNWTO) would implement a Tourism Master Plan.
He explained that the UNWTO, as a follow-up to it, sought the support of some donor agencies to assist Nigeria with funds for the execution of the project on the strengthening of National Tourism Statistical System and the Development of a Tourism Satellite Account (TSA).
“ In furtherance to that, the ministry is finalising plans to inaugurate the Core team/a National Consultative Forum that will work on the recommendations of the UNWTO post technical mission project document.’’
Mohammed therefore stressed the need for a public-private partnership to develop tourists’ attractions and the sector, particularly in areas that have been mapped out in the Tourism Master Plan for the development of the country.