An aide to Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State, Paddy Obinna, has blamed the downturn in the tourism sector in Imo State on the prevailing state of insecurity.
Mr Obinna is the governor’s special adviser on tourism.
Imo State is considered the hub of the pro-Biafra group, IPOB’s operations in the South-east.
The agitation for an independent republic, Biafra, has led to killings and destruction in the region.
The governor’s aide, Mr Obinna spoke on Monday in Owerri about the downturn in tourism in the state during an interview with reporters on the sideline of the activities organised by the state government to mark the celebration of this year’s World Tourism Day.
He said people would be more open to explore the tourism sector “as soon as the factors militating against free movement, peace and serenity of the state are controlled.
“Once there is peace, activities will spring up, people will go on picnics, travelling will be safe and people can really explore the state and enjoy the tourist sites.
“But because of insecurity, all these will not be possible and even the economy is greatly affected,” Mr Obinna said.
The governor’s aide said economic production had been limited in Imo due to insecurity.
He said because the different aspects of the economy were intertwined, “the failures in any sector affects the other”.
“With the limitation to movement and kidnapping all over the place, even the transport sector cannot be patronised, the hospitality and catering sectors are all affected.
“Those who transport food from the villages are afraid to even come out.
“We have gathered to celebrate tourism day and recognise that it is a very important aspect of our economy.
“Therefore, there is an urgent need to stop those factors militating against it,” Mr Obinna said.