A tourism expert, Dr. Tobi Thomas has urged the Nigerian government to improve domestic tourism as a crucial measure to combat the persistent depreciation of the Naira. Thomas blamed foreign tourism by Nigerians, especially for education and healthcare, on the failure of the government to fix critical sectors of the economy.
His words: “The only way out is for the government to ensure that the tourism sector is vibrant,” he stated. The tourism expert was commenting on the revelation by the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Yemi Cardoso who recently disclosed that Nigerians expended $40 billion on education and healthcare tourism in the last ten years.
The apex bank governor also noted that foreign tourism on education and healthcare by Nigerians is one of the major factors contributing to the devaluation of the Naira. Speaking at a press conference in Kaduna at the weekend, Thomas explained that the Nigerian foreign exchange market is currently facing increased demand pressures, causing a continuous decline in the value of the national currency.
He said; “Corruption, limited institutional capacity, and an unstable economy are major factors responsible for the poor development of the educational sector and health services in Nigeria.
“For these reasons, we are calling on the governments at all levels to put all that it takes in place on education, healthcare, roads, and other sectors of the economy to minimise the education and healthcare tourism by Nigerians,” For economic prosperity, Thomas said the Tinubu-led administration must harness the tourism potential of the nation.