Shock Value

Shock Value

The Nigerian economy, like any other, experiences “shocks”— events or policy decisions that can send a ripple of changes through the system. This column zooms in on these ripples in a range of sectors to explore how and why these shocks matter.

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Is Tourism a smart investment for Nigeria?

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi Iyoha

Ebehi is an avid reader seeking insights in unexpected places. Her research interests include economic development, political economy and trade.

This December, over 2 million people from 25 states in Nigeria and 30 countries will attend the Calabar Carnival, the marquee event of the city's month-long annual festival. Instituted by the former Cross River Governor, Donald Duke, the Calabar Festival is the poster child for Nigerian tourism.

It will also cost the Cross River state government over ₦4 billion

Of course, if this investment returns billions more in economic activity for the state, then it may be money well spent. For example, the Cross River Garment Factory anticipates a rise in demand due to the carnival and will release a clothing line specifically for the event. These kinds of opportunities could mean increased employment and revenues not just in the businesses that cater to tourists, but to their suppliers as well. These indirect effects are sizable. In 2017, Nigeria's travel and tourism sector directly employed 1.2 million people but indirectly supported an additional 2 million jobs through industries like construction and food processing.

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