The Federal and State Governments have been urged to explore opportunities in tourism, as an investment option that would help boost Nigeria’s revenue generation in the face of the current economic recession.
The appeal was made at the 47th annual conference of the Nigerian Institute of Estate Surveyors and Valuers (NIESV), which held at the Imo International Convention Center in Owerri, the state capital.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Growing and Diversifying the National Economy: The Real Estate Imperative’, the National President of NIESV, Bolarinde Ajayi, stressed the need for government to look into tourism and real estate development.
The Imo State Governor, Rochas Okorocha, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, George Eche, commended the association for deeming it worthy to choose the state as the rallying point.
The Governor said his administration since its inception, has done well in contributing its quota to the growth of real estate and tourism, considering the numerous infrastructural development it has achieved.
“As I declare this event open by the privilege given to me by our Governor, Rochas Okorocha, we appreciate and commend the leadership of this great association for choosing Imo state for the first time after 47 years of this conference – this practically tells us your association loves Imo state and we welcome you on behalf of Imo people”.
He further stated that: “if there is any profession that should be thankful to any government for uplifting their values then the NIESV should be thankful to the Okorocha-led administration. This is such that since the advent of this administration, the spate of development in all nooks and crannies of the state has made estate surveyors and valuers busier than their counterparts in other states of the federation; our Ministry of Lands is also the busiest in the east of the Niger” he added.
Also speaking, the Chief of staff to the Imo state Governor, Uche Nwosu, stated that tourism is a catalyst to economic growth.
He maintained that the importance of the estate surveyors and real estate practitioners cannot be overemphasized in management of the tourism sector.
Nwosu further stated that many countries depend on tourism as a major means of economic prosperity and if Nigeria can invest in the tourism sector and seek partnership with the Nigeria institute of estate surveyors and valuers, it could help the economy.
“As we as a nation continue to lament about the fall in oil prices in the world market, do we ask ourselves what next? What if there is no oil? Do we have to fold our hands and see things go bad, as a state, do we have to keep waiting for federal allocation until we pay salaries and pensions? I think we need to go back to the drawing board and think about how we can recover and boost the economy through tourism.
“As professionals, NIESV is very key to this project and if every country or state can be well coordinated to harness the tourism potentials embedded in the land, and also partner with estate surveyors and valuers, we might have a way out” he said.
The four-Day conference came to an end with a dinner and presentation of awards.