“Nigeria is a country greatly blessed by God”. Any Nigerian above the age of ten must have heard this sentence a million times over. Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of mineral, human and natural endowments. While we have made significant progress in harnessing the great potentials of our mineral and human resources, we have treated our natural blessings with a measure of disguised contempt. Nigeria has a great number of breathtaking natural sceneries which if properly managed have the potentials to fetch enormous amounts of foreign exchange through tourism and tourism related activities.
Sadly however, our over reliance on crude oil has pronounced a death sentence on other critical and potentially yielding aspects of our economy including tourism. African countries like Kenya, Gambia, South Africa and Zimbabwe rake in billions of dollars in annual revenue from the tourism sectors of their respective countries. Ironically, these countries do not have as much tourist attractions as Nigeria yet our annual earnings in the tourism sector are meagre at best and rather appalling when compared to the abundance of resources that exist in the sector.
Below are a handful of relatively unknown places in Nigeria that if properly managed, would be transformed into major tourist centers and lead to a resuscitation of tourism in Nigeria.
The Ogbunike cave is a spot with enormous tourism potentials that have remained largely untapped. Located in ifite Ogbunike in Anambra State, the cave has a lenghty walkway of up to 317 steps and serves both spiritual and refuge purposes.
Kamuku National Park
This National Park is located in Kaduna State and has a massive area of up to about 450 square miles.The ecology of the park is akin to that of the Sudan Savanna and is adjacent to the kwiambana Game Reserve. The Kamuku National Park has amazing water falls, an isolated inselberg with black and white patterns and a hill made of large boulders piled on top of each other.
The Biu Plateau
This is a highland area in Northeastern Nigeria which consists of several recently extinct volcanoes. This area has an amazing average elevation of up to 2,300 feet and a total area of up to 2000 square miles. The Biu Plateau provides a source for several tributaries that feed the River Gongola and also features a number of well-preserved volcanic cones which rise above the plateau in the Miringa volcanic zone.
The Biu Plateau spans across several states, so you tourists should pick their hotels based on the the part of the plateau that they plan to see.
Erin Ijesha Waterfalls
This is also known as the Olumirin waterfalls and is found in Erin-ijesha in Osun state Nigeria. This waterfall measures to an astonishing height of up to 70 metres and provides a breathtaking view of natural splendor amidst the greenery and serenity of its habitat.
The Lagos Bar beach has the enormous potentials of being a major tourist destination to be reckoned with in Africa and the entire globe. It being domiciled in the economically and socially strategic city of Lagos is an enormous advantage.
However, the Lagos bar beach has been bedeviled by a myriad of man-made anomalies which include the beach becoming a home to miscreants.
Ikogosi Warm springs
This mysterious work of nature is found in Ikogosi in Ekiti State, southwestern Nigeria. The warm spring flows side by side with a cold spring and these two meet at a confluence with each spring preserving its original thermal attributes. This mind blowing creation of nature provides a viable platform for tourism development and consequent resource accrual for the state and the Nation in general.
This tourist attraction is found in the city of Abeokuta in Ogun state. The Olumo Rock is an evidence of nature’s awesome architectural abilities. The rock which has an awe inspiring height of up to 137 meters above sea level presents a great tourism potential for Ogun state and Nigeria in general.
In conclusion, the enormous gains of investing in tourism activities to a Country cannot be overemphasized. It is high time Nigeria as a country paid the tourism sector the attention it deserves as the sector provides a platform for job creation, revenue generation and economic emancipation.
A committed effort by the relevant authorities at investing in the aforementioned tourist spots and others littered across the country would play a pivotal role in helping the country overcome its present economic challenges.