Agu Dawn, Abuja
The Conservator-General of National Park Service (NPS), Dr Ibrahim Goni, says that the Service has generated N128,662,524.74 as revenue in three years.
Goni disclosed this in Abuja at a virtual meeting jointly organised by Seven Wonders of Nigeria, an NGO, in collaboration with the NPS.
He said Nigeria’s seven national parks received a total of 29,971 tourists from 2017 to 2019.
Goni said the national parks generated revenue for the Federal Government and provided opportunities for local and international tourists in the country.
‘The tourism direction of the Park Service also provides meaningful and realistic opportunities for local communities to engage in, and benefit from ecotourism,’ the Conservator-General said.
‘The parks generated a total of N26, 945,444.87 million in 2017, N60, 394,410.83 million in 2018 and N41, 322,669.04 in 2019 to make a total of 128,662,524.74.
‘Meanwhile, the tourists’ influx for 2017 stands at 8,111, in 2018, 10,371 while in 2019 it was 11,489, making a total of 29,971 in three years,’’ he said.
Mrs Caroline Olory, Conservator, Cross River National Park said that the state’ ecotourism is a paradise because of its unique ecological profile.
Olory said that the Park is located in the extreme South-East of the country’s border with Cameroon.
She said that one of the objectives of its establishment is to protect the remaining tropical rainforest, having already lost over 90 per cent of the country’s original rainforest to poor land use.
Also, speaking, Mr Joseph Ntui, Conservator, Old Oyo National Park, said that the Park covers an area of approximately 2,512 kilometres.
Ntui said that the Park is the fourth largest Park in the country.
He said the Park is about 120 kilometres long from the South-West to the North-West and about 50 kilometres wide at it widest points in the South, adding that it is shaped like a saxophone.
Ntui said that the Park protects, preserves, conserves and manages indigenous flora and fauna of the South-West region.
He noted that the tourism industry in the country lacks sustainable awareness creation of its potentials.
‘As it is known worldwide, most ecotourism parks face the problem of overexploitation of natural resources but with more advocacy through conservation education, this can be curtailed,’ Ntui said.
Mr Mohammed Kabir, Conservator, Gashaka Gumti National Park, said the Park is located in the mountainous region of the North-East, across Adamawa and Taraba states.
Kabir said the Park covers a land area measuring 6,731 kilometres.
He said that the Park lacks electricity supply, adding that the facilities are not connected to the national grid.
‘The facilities in the Park are 20 chalets with sporting facilities at the transit camp, 20 chalets at Gashaka village camp, 10 furnished chalets at Toungo,’ Kabir said.
Mr Ikechi Uko, who hosted the meeting, advised the public to patronize tourism sites and support the Federal Government in improving the industry.
Uko said such support will translate into the development of the country.