Dr Ibrahim Goni. the conservator- general, National Park Service has urged Nigerians to patronise the various national parks across the country during the yuutide season.
Goni who made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Abuja, said Nigerians should appreciate and patronise the natural resources and priceless heritage that abound in the country.
According to him, Nigerians travel abroad often and spend money on recreation while in Nigeria, these facilities are being underutilised.
Goni assured Nigerians that in spite the security challenges in the country, adequate security had been put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and tourists intending to visit the national parks during the celebrations.
“I urge Nigerians to rethink their tendency to undertake trips abroad this holiday and turn to any of the National parks to enjoy the ambience of nature that God has blessed Nigeria with.
“Patronising the parks will go a long way in helping to develop them to acceptable global standards and also enhance the revenue drive of the parks while contributing to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We are working to preserve and protect the nation’s natural heritage and the cultural edifices for unborn generations. If we do not patronise them, they would almost certainly go moribund.
“I want to see a situation where we visit our parks for holidays and recreation to enjoy the natural resources that God has endowed the country with.”
He said the service had constructed and renovated more chalets for the promotion of ecotourism and recreation at the various National Parks.
He said it involved the renovation and upgrade of the parks facilities to international standards, strengthening the park rangers and developing job creation initiatives for the local communities.
According to him, we want to have parks that can compete favourably with other parks around the world and do sincerely believe that with the collaboration of all stakeholders, we will achieve that dream.
He said that the Oli Tourist Camp at Kainji Lake National Park in Niger State have 52 standard chalets and boasts of a 24-hour electricity supply, a conference centre, two swimming pools, a restaurant and bar.
“Chad Basin National Park located in the extreme North-East of Nigeria between Borno and Yobe States has 12 chalets well furnished, en-suite facilities for people out for sports, fishing, boat cruising and bird watching at night.
“Our facilities at the Cross River, Kamuku, Old Oyo and Okomu National Parks are also superb. We have facilities that showcase nature at its best”
He said The National Parks had been made safe for tourists/visitors and this has enhanced the service revenue generation.
Goni said as at September 2019, the service had recorded a total of 8,892 tourists who visited the parks as against 10,371 in 2018.
The Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) as at September 2019 was ₦30,690 million compared to ₦60,394 generated in 2018.
NAN also reports that Goni recently bagged a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Wildlife management. ( NAN)
Edited by: Ese E. Ekama