By Lizzy Okoji
Amb. Olorundare Awoniyi, Nigeria’s Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, has called on investors to harness, exploit and develop Nigeria’s tourism sector.
This is to improve bilateral and trade ties between both countries, said the envoy.
Awoniyi made this appeal during the Venezuela’s International Tourism Fair (FitVen) in La Guaira State, Venezuela where Nigeria was highly in participation.
Awoniyi, in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Thursday in Abuja, said Venezuela in recognition of Nigeria’s friendship gave the country the opportunity to showcase its culture.
NAN reports that FitVen is a tourist show organised by the government that creates a platform for investors, entrepreneurs, businessmen and governments to meet to foster economic activities.
Awoniyi said that Venezuela has done a lot in developing its tourism and cultural sector, and the ongoing FitVen has provided the opportunity to sell Nigeria to participating foreign investors as well as the Venezuelan government.
Awoniyi said he was already in talks with the Venezuelan authorities on how both countries can strengthen ties in the sector for economic benefits.
“Today we have been given a stand at the FitVen (Venezuela’s International Tourism Fair) alongside the Embassy of South Africa in Venezuela.
“FitVen is an initiative of the Bolivarian Government of Venezuela to strengthen and promote the tourist benefits offered by Venezuela.
“In order to continue to forge commercial alliances that allow them to strengthen the tools to move towards a more prosperous country and to comply with the economic measures promoted by the National Executive.
“Venezuela has done a lot in developing its Tourism sector which has been a means of opening its economy.
“The Nigerian Embassy in Venezuela is in talks with the Venezuelan government to emulate this to boost our own tourism sector and business and a means of diversifying our economy.
“We have had a great taste of Venezuelan cuisines because they take pride in their delicacies. I mean, we have all of this in Nigeria which we can also showcase.”
Awoniyi said that the 14th edition of the Fair, which will be holding from Dec. 14 to Dec. 16, has stands of national, public and private exhibitors, as well as international exhibitors from 16 countries.
He noted that conferences and seminars would be held, as well as Business Rounds with foreign investors.
“It is worth to mention the Participation of the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who has showcased an immaculate stand with the country’s art pieces.
‘’And original attires being one of the most delightful stands in the venue.
“I will also be taking advantage of this to meet with investors to woo them to Nigeria,” Awoniyi stated.
Awoniyi also noted that all ties between Nigeria and Venezuela can be easily deepened with the establishment of a direct air link between both continents.
He said that he was already in talks with the Venezuelan government to see how this can be achieved as the over 40 hours trip to and from both countries was detrimental to strengthening trade ties.
Awoniyi also stated that it is worthy of mention that a lot of Venezuelans who can trace their roots back to Nigeria, especially the Yoruba parts, are desirous of strengthening direct links with their Nigerian roots.
NAN also reports that participating in the event from Nigeria is Dr Aliyu Hong, Vice President Tourism, Abuja Chambers of Commerce and Industry, and Mrs Ursula Gabriel, Director, MAG MIA General Services and Delivery Ltd. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)