As the world celebrates World Tourism Day, Kebbi State Governor, Senator Abubakar Bagudu has restated the commitment of his administration to the development and growth of tourism and cultural potentials of the State.
The governor, represented by his Deputy, Rtd Colonel Samaila Yombe Dabai spoke in Birnin Kebbi on Monday on the occasion of the World Tourism Day, 2021, hosted by Kebbi State Government attended by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed in the company of over nine CEOs under his Ministry alongside important personalities.
Bagudu, who is also the Chairman of, APC Governors’ Forum said: “Kebbi State is the Land of Equity, the melting pot for culture and tourism.
“Kebbi State has unequivocally occupied a pride of place in the former Shongai empire and a significant part of the jihads of Usman Danfodio and his younger brother Abdullahi Fodio.
“Today the state is divided into four distinct emirates with distinct culture and traditions but lived harmoniously with one another devoid of traditional and religious clashes.”
The governor also assured the federal government that the choice of Kebbi State as host of this year’s World Tourism Day Celebration “is not a misplaced idea.”
He stated that the theme for this year’s celebration: “Tourism for Inclusive Growth,” speaks volumes about the zeal and preparedness of President Muhammadu Buhari to raise tourism to the highest pedestal and make it a major revenue earner and catalyst for economic growth and development.
“We are all aware of the urgent need to explore and diversify other sources of revenue that will support or even surpass oil. Already apart from tourism, Kebbi State has been identified as one of the states with rich and abundant mineral resources,” Bagudu, added.
Also speaking at the epoch-making event, the Minister of Information, Arts and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who was turbaned as the “Kakakin Kabi” lauded governor Bagudu for accepting to host this year’s World Tourism Day celebration.
“Not only is the organization and management excellence, but I am also happy that it provided the opportunity for us to experience the goodwill and hospitality of the good people of Kebbi State.
“Since 1980, the United Nations World Tourism Organization has
observed World Tourism Day on September 27 of every year.
“This date was chosen to coincide with an important milestone in world tourism, which is the anniversary of the adoption of the UNWTO Statutes on 27 September 1970,” he explained.
Mohammed stated that the essence of the annual celebration was to foster global awareness of the social, cultural, political, and economic value of tourism and the contributions of the sector towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“The event is also considered as a powerful advocacy tool and occasion to mobilize political will and resources, address global problems, celebrate and reinforce achievements at all levels and educate the public on issues of concern,” the Minister averred.
He further noted that the theme of the World Tourism Day 2021 is ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth,” adding that, it is an opportunity to look beyond tourism statistics and acknowledged that, behind every number, there is a person.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Kebbi State Commissioner for Information and Culture, Barrister Rakiya Tanko Ayuba-Haruna disclosed that the day marks another landmark achievement for Kebbi State as it had been chosen foremost over other States to host and celebrate the 2021 World Tourism Day.
According to her, “This is second in a line of successes accorded to Kebbi State after its successful hosting of the Argungu International Fishing Festival held last year 2020.
“This year’s theme ‘’Tourism for Inclusive Growth’ has a wide meaning to include growth from the aspect of tourism in harnessing revenue generation from tourism from the vast potentials of Nigeria, foremost Kebbi state has to offer, from its diverse and unique culture available in the four Emirates namely Argungu, Zuru, Yawuri, and Gwandu.”
Also in a remark, the Commissioner of Commerce, Industry, Cooperatives, and Tourism, Garba Ibrahim Geza said the choice of Kebbi State to host this year’s World Tourism Day celebration was no doubt a result of the present and past efforts of the administration to distinguish Kebbi State as a one-stop-shop for tourism and culture.
The UNWTO Secretary-General, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Fed Ministry of Information and Culture, Dr. Ifeoma Adaora Anyanwutaku said that the human desire to travel and explore is universal, “which is why tourism must be opened for everyone to enjoy.
“So too must the many social and economic benefits that tourism brings be available to everybody.
“World Tourism Day 2021 highlights the power of ‘Tourism for Inclusive Growth.
“By celebrating this day, we state our commitment that, as tourism grows, the benefits that come will be felt at every level of our broad and diverse sector, from the biggest airline to the smallest family business.
Highlights of the event include Press Conference marking World Tourism Day, presentation of certificates, and cultural performance by Kebbi State cultural troupe.