BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Abuja
The Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) has stated its readiness to partner with the Kebbi State Government to revamp the Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival. The vice president of FTAN (North West Zone), Mr Nura Sani Kangiwa, revealed this interview with the sporting media in Abuja.
According to Kangiwa , the decisions was reached at the 9th National Council on Tourism, Culture and National Orientation conference held in Dutse, Jigawa State recently. The National Council on Tourism, Culture and National Orientation is an annual gathering aimed at bringing together stakeholders to discuss ways the sector can contribute effectively to improve the country’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP). Kangiwa said that part of the decisions reached at the meeting was the revamping of the Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival.
“Based on the resolution recently reached by the National Council on Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, it was agreed that the Federal Government and all tourism stakeholders will partake in the revamping of the festival. So, all tourism stakeholders are going to partner with the Kebbi State Government to ensure that the festival, which has been comatose for some years is revived to promote our country as a tourism destination,” he said.
He said that the Federal Government’s effort at diversifying the economy had recognized the creative industry, which culture and tourism were integral part to create jobs and improve foreign exchange earnings.
“This was reflected in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 to 2020. Cultural Tourism is a source of revenue generation. As an “invisible export” it creates a flow of foreign currency into the economy of a nation. The Culture and Tourism Sector is gaining more recognition and visibility and evolving economic activities capable of reducing extreme poverty, creating jobs and generating revenues for national growth and development. Therefore, in line with the mission of the current political dispensation for diversification of economic activities, revamping the Argungu International Fishing Festival will no doubt satisfy the yearnings of our people,” he added.
The Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival is expected to hold in March 2018. The four-day yearly festival held in Kebbi is one of Nigeria’s internationally recognized tourism attractions. The festival has not been held since the last edition in 2009 largely due to the security situation the country.
On the issue of security, Kangiwa said Kebbi State was undoubtedly the safest state in the country despite its diverse religious and ethnic groups, adding that the level of youth restiveness and religious crisis remained the lowest.