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Travel & Tourism - An Introduction  (Reviewed, 4th November 2003) Tell your friends about this page! Email it to them.

NIGERIA:  – A Rich Cinderella

Zuma Rock, Near Abuja, NigeriaTourism is relatively a young industry in Nigeria. This is more because of a running neglect of abundant resources naturally endowed on the country than the lack of them. In addition to the neglect was the sense of insecurity that was widely portrayed to be pervading in the country. In the 1990s, Nigeria witnessed overwhelming political upheavals and ignoble cascade of bestiality as a result of the desire of a few cabal in the military with their western collaborators to hold on to power ad infinitum. The ensued political commotion gave birth to the upsurge of pressure groups, which confronted the military with a view to curtailing its excesses and enthroning democracy. This confrontation bred instability and a sense of insecurity became palpable. This sent a bad signal to the international communities. Nigeria thus became a pariah nation. She was consequently projected and portrayed a jungle, a country ... "saddled with soaring crime rates, massive unemployment…" and "… not the most pleasant or relaxing place to visit."

The general elections of April this year has greatly reinforced the belief, even in unexpected quarters that Nigeria's 4 1/2 years old democracy has very good chance of being sustained. Though there were massive allegations of rigging, Nigeria appears set on a new dawn of stability and peace. Nigeria is thus on true course of economic revamp and political stability. The country has definitely been restored to a respectable place amongst the committee of nations.

In as much as one would not be in a haste to declare Nigeria a paradise especially as she shares some overwhelming problems associated with most developing countries, one should not equally on the strength of this, deny her uniqueness in some respect.

Nigeria is the most populous African country, the 4th biggest democracy in the world. She is the 6th most populous country in the world and the black Africans’ economic giant. She is a top 5 supplier of crude oil in the world, with increasing influence in the natural gas sector. Nigeria is a custodian of wide, varied and fascinating cultures, flora, fauna, landscape, climate and aspirations. She is also the home country of quite a considerable number of Africans who are internationally acclaimed achievers in various fields of human endeavours.

Lawyers and jurist of note abound. In the fields of Science and Technology, Industry and Trade, Politics and Unionisms, Literature, Music and Art, Education and Philosophy, Computer and administration, Military and Sports, more Nigerians would be recorded than from other Africans put together.

Nigeria can be regarded as a tourism rich Cinderella. She is naturally blessed with beautiful landscape, rich culture, abundant monuments and museums, festivals of great historical antecedents, parks, hotels and natural resorts, which are the bedrocks of the tourism industry. Nigeria is also endowed with quite abundant mineral resources, markets and other economic resources, which could be of immense value to tourists and  foreign investors alike. Her rich and diverse cultural heritage should be much sought after by researchers.

Picture: Zuma Rock, Near Abuja, Nigeria.

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