President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday that at least nine million people are currently benefitting from the Social Investment Programme (SIP) in the country.
He also said 297,973 homes are receiving the monthly stipend of N5,000 from the Federal Government.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 61st meeting of the United Nations World Tourism Organization Commission for Africa (UNWTO-CAF), the federal government has injected $9 billion dollars into the country’s infrastructural development in the last two years.
According to him, the infrastructural projects include road, railway and power.
President Buhari, who was represented the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, said the country is investing so much on infrastructure to promote tourism in a steady effort to diversify the economy.
He also said the government is investing in SIP to promote human capital development which has benefitted over nine million people.
To attract investment in the tourism sector, the President said the government would impose minimal tariffs on amusement park equipment, casino and materials for hotel construction.
He said: “The theme: ‘Tourism Statistics – A Catalyst for Development’ is apt and could not have come at a better time than now, considering the significance of Tourism Statistics and Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) in measuring the contribution of the tourism sector to the national economy.
“The importance of tourism and its potentials to national economies cannot be overemphasized. Tourism, as we all know, contributes to the wealth of nations and the well-being of citizens, largely through foreign exchange earnings, generation of revenue, creation of employment, knowledge, cultural integration as well as increase the GDP of the country.
“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 billion to strengthen its investment in power, roads and railway in the past two years alone.
“Also, this government is investing in Social Investment Programme (SIP) 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; N-Power programme that has employed 200,000 university graduates and is about to employ 300,000 more; the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) under which some 297,973 poor homes are receiving 5,000 Naira monthly; and the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) that has provided loans to hundreds of thousands of small business owners.”