From Segun Babatunde in Bauchi
The 4th edition of the National Transportation Tourism Summit and Expo for the year 2021 will focuss attention on the inter-play and connectivity between tourism and transportation as well as to x-ray how comprehensibly the various stakeholders and key players in the two industries at both public and private sector levels have fared in exploring the enormous opportunities and benefits inherent in synergizing them.
This year’s edition which comes up on 15th to 16th of November, 2021 at the International Conference Centre Abuja is instituted and convened by the Institute for Tourism Professionals of Nigeria (ITPN) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Tourism, the Federal Ministry of Transportation as well as the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
According to a Press Statement issued by Chief Abiodun Odusanwo, FITPNNational President ITPN/ Chairman MOC, ITTS&E 2021 and made available to newsmen Thursday, “It is an annual event that focusses attention on the inter-play and connectivity between tourism and transportation as well as to x-ray how’s comprehensibly the various stakeholders and key players in the two industries at both public and private sector levels have fared in exploring the enormous opportunities and benefits inherent in synergizing them.
“The fourth edition of the Summit and Expo for the year 2021 comes up on 15th to 16th of November, 2021 at the International Conference Centre Abuja with the theme: TOURISM TRANSPORTATION CONNECTIVITY: Leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Regime for Economic Sustainability”.
The statement added that it is derived from the AfCFTA trade agreement which is a common market to grow trade in ‘made-in-Africa’ goods and services by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade among African countries.
Organizers say AfCFTA “is a common market for 54 African countries of a population of 1.2 billion people which has a combined Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of more than US $3.4 trillion. It is huge market opportunity that cannot be ignored or wished away.”
“The Summit and Expo offer a platform for public and private sector stakeholders, producers and consumers in Nigeria and the African Continent to come together, share ideas, experiences, exchange knowledge and showcase their skills inu the growth, development and promotion of the nation’s economic endowments by promoting the ideals of the AfCFTA Agreements and leveraging on it”.
Nigeria’s participation in this year’s event, according to Odusanwo “is essentially to get more enlightened and informed on the nitty gritty of the AfCFTA agreements so that the country can fully explored the opportunities and benefits of the trade agreements.
He said that Participation by all sectorial key players and critical stakeholders in the Tourism and Transportation sectors of the country will open a new page in Africa’s cross boundary trade for the good of the country in particular and the continent as a whole.
“This is because AfCFTA is driven by the need for Nigeria to grow and diversify her export income beyond crude oil export revenue, which is cyclical in nature, has been declining in per capita terms due to fast growing population and is projected to decline significantly over the long-term due to the global shift away from fossil fuels”.
Tourism offers a preferred sector for Nigeria’s economic diversification with transportation been the most reliable means for this to happen.