President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday disclosed that his administration has spent $9bn (N2 .745trn at the official exchange rate of N 305 to $1) on power, roads and railways in the country in the last two years.
He said the expenditure was part of the ongoing plans by his government to diversify the economy through the development of tourism, agriculture and solid minerals, noting that the Federal Government was investing heavily in infrastructure.
The President made this known at the 61st meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation and Commission for Africa in Abuja.
Buhai also said that as part of his administration’s social investment programmes, the government was giving N 5, 000 monthly to some 297, 973 poor homes in the country.
The theme of the weeklong conference, attended by delegates from over 53 countries, was, ‘Tourism Statistics – A Catalyst for Development.’
Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, read Buhari’s speech.
The President said Nigeria was expected to benefit from tourism through increase in foreign exchange earnings, revenue generation , employment creation and cultural integration.
Buhari stated, “We are making steady efforts to diversify the economy through agriculture , solid minerals development and tourism . We are also
investing heavily in infrastructure to promote tourism . This administration has injected about $ 9 bn to strengthen its investment in power , roads and railway in the past two years.
“The government is also investing in the social investment programme to promote human capital development , which has benefitted over nine million people. These programmes include our home – grown school feeding programme that is providing one meal a day to 7 . 4 million pupils in 22 states of the federation.
“There is also the Conditional Cash Transfer under which some 297, 973 poor homes are receiving N 5 , 000 monthly . The government is also providing public safety and security to all Nigerians , investors and tourists . Government is also investing a lot of resources in building the inventory of equipment and capacity of security agencies to keep the country safe .
“Nigeria is a country with a population of over 180 million people and over 250 ethnic groups , each with a unique story , and these stories are finding
expression in our movies , music and many other creative ideas. The importance of tourism and its potential to national economies cannot be overemphasised.”