The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says the tourism sector accounts for 34 per cent of GDP and about 20 per cent of the nation’s employment creation in 2017.
Dr Yemi Kale, Statistician-General of the Federation and Chief Executive Officer, NBS, made the disclosure at the 61st United Nations World Tourism Organisation Commission for Africa (UNWTO-CAF), Conference, in Abuja, yesterday.
The theme of the conference is” Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst for Development.”
Kale said that tourism activities in Nigeria had immense potential and indeed, the sector encompasses and affects several sub-sectors across the nation’s key output sectors.
He said Nigeria was an inspirational destination for visitors, adding that international visitors come to the country to immerse themselves in its landscapes, indigenous culture and experiences and do business.
“ This is our competitive advantage and we need to work together to make the most of it, “ he said.
The statistician also said that tourism activities reinforced cultural pride, the preservation of the nation’s unique heritage and traditions, as well as the conservation of their environment.
According to him, it is because of it far reaching impact on all groups of society, that tourism is mentioned specifically within both the Sustainable Development Goals and the wider Agenda 2030.
“ With respect to the direct impact of tourism on GDP, there are some economic activities that make up what we may call the tourism characteristics sectors.
“ The art, entertainment and recreation, trade, transport, accommodation and food services, administrative, support and other services account for 34 per cent of GDP in 2017 and about 20 per cent of employment.
“ Even though as you know not all of that 34 per cent and 20 per cent GDP and employment contribution will be related directly to tourism activities.
“Nevertheless, this shows you the immense potential of tourism activities in Nigeria, a 500 billion dollars economy with about 70 per cent of that household consumption expenditure,” he said.
Kale said that tourism had also proved to be a much-needed source of additional income for households particularly within rural regions.
He said that the theme of the conference was very central to the role of tourism statistics in promoting inclusive economic growth and development.
“ It is a testament to the work of the Commission for Africa, and all its members here, that data is rightly recognised as pivotal to the process of building a sustainable tourism sector.
“ For us in Nigeria and at the NBS, we also understand that the direct economic benefits of tourism which reflects the direct internal spending within the country from both residents and non-residents on tourism related activities.
“ Tourism also has indirect and induced effects ranging from job creation, to increased revenue through taxes and foreign exchange, to improved local infrastructure, are far reaching.”
Kale, therefore, said that tourism statistics was more imperative as a tool in tracking development goals, measuring progress, and improving the efficacy of policy interventions.
According to him, tourism statistics is critical in providing the sector with the best foundation to base its decisions on.
He said that the challenges of producing tourism statistics in Nigeria were clear and present.
He added that one such challenge was the high level of informality of the tourism characteristics activities with about 60 per cent of them informal in nature.
He said the poor attitude towards record keeping, inadequate funding and weak coordination among tourism statistics related agencies and business also compounded the problems.
CAC Registers 245,000 SMEs Free Of Charge
The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) says it has registered more than 245,000 Small and Medium Enterp-rises free of charge.
The Registrar-General, Alhaji Garba Abubakar, said in Abuja on Wednesday that it did this with the approval of the Federal Government.
The Federal Government, he said, approved the free registration of 250,000 business names as part of its intervention to assuage the economic effect of Covid-19.
He said the Federal Government paid 50 per cent of the cost of registration to CAC and more than 245,000 business names were consequently registered.
Abubakar explained that the process was electronic and applicants also got their certificates electronically.
He added that the numbers were divided between the 36 states of the federation and the FCT noting that Lagos, Abia and Kano States had the largest numbers.
He said free registration of 6, 606 business names was approved for 33 states while Abia, Lagos and Kano States would have 7, 906, 9,084 and 8,406 respectively.
Abubakar noted that aggregators were appointed and paid to collect SMEs information and submit same to CAC.
He explained that the commission provided special access for the aggregators for effective service delivery since they were responsible for scanning and uploading of documents.
He added that CAC had to take over from one of the aggregators appointed for two states but failed to deliver.
Abubakar said also that the intervention of CAC and appointment of substitute aggregators to take over in the two states sped up the process, already nearing completion.
“We are hoping that by end of September the exercise will come to an end,’’ he said.
IPMAN Seeks Foreign Partnership For Robust Refinery Deal
The Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Mr King Eppie, has said that he would be seeking the partnership of foreign bodies as part of his plans to strengthen the association.
Eppie said this when he spoke in a chat with newsmen in his office in Eleme, Eleme Local Government Area, Rivers State, Wednesday.
He pointed out that such plans would also encourage business growth especially to some of his members whom he said are experiencing stormy business weather.
According to him, the challenging business condition was as a result of non functional refineries in the country, stressing the need to seek for partnership.
He said that since its core business area was petroleum products, that his leadership would do all within its reach to improve the system.
The Rivers IPMAN boss, expressed hope that the ailing refineries in the country would bounce back to life.
“ I will be happy to see the refineries working again. Most of our members are suffering and business is no longer what it used to be, that’s why I want the refineries to come back to operation”, he said.
About the issue of legal battle in the association, he said that his team has been vindicated by the Apex court by declaring him the authentic chairman of IPMAN in Rivers State.
He recalled that the association was in a legal battle for about eight years, but expressed joy over its victorious end.
To those who were on the other side of the divide, he said that he has extended an olive branch to them as part of his plans to run an all inclusive government.
“ The platform for those who went to court against us has been created for them to come back to the fold. IPMAN is one in the state and we are open to all, that is why we want everyone to come back”, he said.
The Tide learnt that the IPMAN chairman is barely one week in office after years of legal battle that greeted the association as a result of leadership tussle.
1,818 MSMEs Benefit From Covid-19 Recovery Package In Delta
No fewer than 1,818 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have benefited from Federal Government and the World Bank Covid-19 Action Recovery Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) in Delta.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa addressed the beneficiaries at the launch of funds disbursement in Asaba on Wednesday.
He commended the Federal Government and the World Bank for the partnership to provide succour for those affected by the pandemic in the country.
He said that now that the scheme had been domesticated in the state, the beneficiaries were in the first phase of the programme.
Okowa also lauded the Nigeria Governor’s Forum (NGF) for supporting the federal government to ensure that the programme was approved by the World Bank for implementation in Nigeria.
He also thanked the World Bank for the intervention and for working with state governments in the country towards cushioning the socio-economic effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the people, particularly the poor and vulnerable.
According to Okowa, today’s ceremony is a major step at putting MSMEs that are badly hurt by the pandemic on the path of recovery and growth.
He said this was “more so, with the disbursement of funds to the first set of 1,818 beneficiaries who have met the World Bank stipulated eligibility criteria within the initial six months.
“A total of 2,529 MSMEs are expected to receive grants to support post-covid-19 loans, operational costs and to enhance their IT capabilities.
“Indeed, we are glad to be part of the CARES programme of the Federal Government.
“The focus of intervention clearly aligns with the priority of the state government to give relief to those whose lives, businesses, jobs and means of livelihood have been distorted by the pandemic.
“The programme, which we have domesticated as the Delta CARES, is a two-year emergency recovery programme.
“It is aimed at supporting state governments’ budgeted programme of expenditures and interventions.
“It is to enable them to expand access to livelihood support, food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms,” he said.
He said that the programme would also directly support 25,269 poor and vulnerable households with social transfers, basic services and livelihood grants.
The governor said it would as well support 13,976 farmers to boost food production and ensure smooth functioning of the food supply chain.
“The outlined figures are the targets stipulated by the World Bank, but do not preclude the State Government from scaling up if the need arises.
“It is my expectation that those charged with the implementation of Delta-CARES will be faithful in executing the mandate so that the desired results are achieved, bearing in mind that it is a Programme for Result (PforR),” Okowa said.
On his part, Dr Barry Pere-Gbe, Chairman, Steering Committee for Delta-CARES and State Commissioner for Economic Planning, commended Okowa for providing the funds for the programme.
Pere-Gbe was represented by the Commissioner for Youths Development, Mr Ifeanyi Egwunyenga.
He said that the main focus of the programme was to bring succour to residents whose means of livelihood had been disrupted by the impacts of Covid-19.
He said that the programme was hinged on three thematic area.
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