Africa: Nigerian Tour Operators, National Park Service Pledge To Promote Ecological Tourism

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Tour operators in Nigeria’s tourism industry in collaboration with Nigerian Park Service have resolved to rekindle and bring back the enthusiasm for ecological site seeing for tourists in the country.

With seven national parks located in different part of the country, Nigerians are yet to fully utilise these facilities and explore the wildlife animals that could be seen in these parks.

Speaking at the second edition of the annual tourism fair, Abuja Jabamah and the induction of the top 100 tourism personalities award held in the nation’s capital, the Conservator-General of Nigeria National Park Service (NNPS), Ibrahim Goni, said wildlife lovers in the country need not travel to other African nations for their relaxation but only need to take advantage of the numerous recreational centres and wildlife parks in the country.

He stated that with the induction of the new awardees national park service in the country is resolved to work with them to ensure that the parks in the country get maximum patronage from Nigerians.

He said: “The young men and ladies here today have shown that they are desirous of promoting the Nigerian tourism sector. This is a new leaf in the arena of tourism and particularly ecological tourism. I am most encouraged by the commitment and pledges you have made during this event. You have all pledged to promote ecological tourism in Nigeria’s national Parks and I am assuring you that on the side of the National Park Service of Nigeria, the park will be open to anyone of you at any time. We look forward to you in promoting and packaging your tours to these parks.”

Speaking at the event, the Namibian High Commissioner to Nigeria, His Excellency Humphrey Desmond Geiseb, commended the organisers for putting the tourism fair together adding that the continent can only do well if African countries collaborate amongst each other.

He said Namibia had in the past donated some wildlife animals to some Nigerian parks saying that country is looking forward to further strengthen the corporation between Namibia and Nigeria.

“I want to tell the audience how happy I am as a Namibian, in the company of the leaders of the Nigerian Park Service. A few years ago, Namibia donated a few animals to Nigeria, and the head of the park service just told me that those animals are doing well in the Wangari Park. I am most definitely go and visit the Park and see some of those animals that Namibia has donated- the Zebras and Giraffes. Africa can only do well if we are working together. I look forward to see how we can further strengthen corporation between our two countries.”

Director General, Nigeria Council for Art and Culture, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, while commending the organisers for a successful event said they have been able to put Nigeria to the tourism map over the years, adding that more countries will be participating next year as the event expands.

Organiser of Abuja Jabamah, Mr Ikechi Uko, while speaking at the event stated that Nigeria has not had the benefit of grooming leaders in the sector that can champion the course of the tourism industry.

He pointed that one of the reasons for organising the event was to seek out leaders in the different aspect of the country that can be relied on by the government to make input in the tourism sector.

He said: “Nigeria has not had the benefit of grooming leaders in the sector, we decided to seekers out leaders in different aspect of the industry. The day Nigeria decides to do tourism there is a pool of people to call to lead in the tourism sector.”

The event also featured presentation from Nigerian National Park Service, Institute Tourism Practitioner of Nigeria, Cabo Verde Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines.

By Friday Nwosu

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