Now that oil revenue is dwindling and forex inflow has dropped dramatically, putting the Nigerian economy in jeopardy, a professor has come up with a big idea: creating a solar eclipse tourism to earn dollars.
Seidu Mohammed, director-general of the National Research and Space Development Agency (NASRDA), says Nigeria can generate revenue by making the phenomenon a tourist attraction.
Mohammed said this at the space centre in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that countries like Indonesia were already making huge gains from the phenomenon.
“We must understand that in some places, it attracts tourism,” he said.
“As we speak, in Indonesia, it is lasting for about two hours with total darkness, as advertised in the last two weeks and thousands of tourists are there.
“What it means is that hoteliers and tourists are smiling home in Indonesia. We can develop our own because it can last for hours. That is why we brought children to learn and they are happy. We must train them as scientists.
“We must diversify our economy through focus and commitment on space technology, we must train people on it, and this is a major platform for that. We must sensitise people to know that this is a national phenomenon within the celestial bodies and that God is not angry with us as some people believed. We are happy at it because it is normal.”
Hundreds of school children filed in at the space centre to observe the annular solar eclipse on Thursday.
A previous eclipse occurred in 2013.
The next partial lunar eclipse visible from Nigeria will be on September 16, but a total one is expected on the night of July 27-28, 2018.