Mr Otunba Runsewe, Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, has said that culture and tourism, when promoted, would earn more revenue than oil.
Runsewe stated this on Friday in Jos, at the maiden Plateau Tourism Conference.
The conference has the theme: “Unlocking the Vast Potentials of Tourism as a Financial Option for Sustainable Socio-economic Development.”
According to Runsewe, oil is exhaustible while culture is not.
“It is sad that we are paying lip service to a sector that can make Nigeria great.
“The only secret remaining to make Nigeria great is culture and tourism.
“This is the only sector where nobody is useless; If you score F9 in all subjects, you will not be useless in tourism.
“You don’t need a PhD to be a creative person,” he stated.
He said that culture and tourism was one sector that could reduce crime, unemployment and infighting among Nigerians.
According to him, all that is needed is the right analysis to identify the challenges and work out ways to tackle them.
Runsewe said that Plateau could make a difference for Nigeria the same way Dubai made a difference for United Arab Emirate (UAE).
“Dubai is not the capital of UAE, Abu Dhabi is. But Dubai is servicing the seven states of UAE. Why can’t Plateau do the same thing?
“Plateau has a good weather. It is blessed with scenic beauty and among others,” he stated.
The director general challenged Plateau Government to develop a tourism master plan to guide them.
Mr Benjamin Carey, Managing Director, Danira Tourism, Scotland, UK, said that Nigeria needed to create synergies with other countries for its tourism sector to grow.
Carey said that Nigeria was blessed with rich heritage that could be explored for the good of the country.
He advised Nigeria to focus on what it has, conduct a baseline survey and communicate the potentialities by working out margins for depreciation and margins for profit.
Mr Habila Joshak, Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Operations, in his remarks, promised that the Police Force would provide adequate security for tourists.
Joshak said that Plateau was endowed with abundant tourists site begging to be explored.