The Federal Government is contemplating partial commercialisation of existing national parks in the country.
The parks penciled down for the exercise are Kainji Lake, Cross River, and Gashaka Gumti National Parks. Already, discussions have begun among the leadership of the parks and relevant agencies to fashion out a blueprint for the kick-off of the programme.
The Conservator General, Dr. Ibrahim Goni, who stated this in a statement in Abuja, said their potential for recreation parks are exceedingly high, but they are not properly harnessed to achieve the goals.
Goni assured that they would support the private partnership initiative on the partial concession of the national parks by the Federal Government to provide recreational centres for citizens.
Conservationists have captured the first images of a group of rare Cross River gorillas with multiple babies in Nigeria’s Mbe mountains, proof that the subspecies once feared to be extinct is reproducing amid protection efforts.
Nigerian National Parks Service on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Nature Investors West Africa Ltd. on technical and financial support for conservation activities at Gashaka Gumti National Park. The Conservator-General of the Park Service, Ibrahim Goni and the Director of Nature Investor West Africa Ltd., Olajide Layele, signed the agreement in Abuja.
Goni said that the agreement was a milestone for the Service in its efforts to boost wildlife protection and conservation activities in Gashaka Gumti National Park, located in Adamawa and Taraba, in a professional manner to achieve maximum results. “The support will be specifically in the areas of conservation, research and tourism activities of the park. “The support is to fund and support surveillance training, anti-poaching patrols as well as patrol, research and tourism equipment supplies,’’ he said.
Goni said that the agreement would last for 30 years, from the date of its signing, adding that it could be renewed for another 30 years, subject to ratification of both parties. The conservator-general thanked Nature Investors West Africa Ltd. for deciding to partner with the service. “Nature Investors West Africa Ltd. had since proved to be a reliable partner by previously assisting the park in joint patrols and repairs of patrol vehicles, even before the idea of the partnership was conceived. “I also ask that it should extend its support to other parks across the country so as to strengthen their capacity in conservation, research and tourism activities,’’ he said.
In his response, Olajide thanked the conservator-general for the understanding and assured him of the maximum support of his company. He also said that his company was in the process of floating a non-governmental organisation, which would eventually be the counterparty in the agreement. He said that the two parties would thereafter set up a Local Organising Committee to oversee the implementation of the partnership agreement.