He noted that the move would improve tourist infrastructure, marketing, and publicity for the parks. He also maintained that they are ready to promote domestic tourism, ensure the safety of tourists and visitors to the parks.
The Conservator General explained that the parks would provide ecosystem services, with a rich variety of natural resources, capable of turning Nigeria into a major tourism destination in the world.
To achieve this, he said, there is a need to upgrade infrastructure and increase inclusion of indigenous people participation in park resources management, conservation, and tourism.
Similarly, Dr. Goni has called on stakeholders to synergise, synthesise for the sector to perform optimally and contribute substantially to the national economy.
On the protection of national parks, he suggested the establishment of paramilitary structure, in terms of the development of quarter guard, parade team, and the "The major challenge is the issue of ineffective support from communities. We want the communities to accept ownership of the park resources rather than view the parks as government property.”
He disclosed that the national parks recorded 9,557 tourists between 2017 and 2020, attributing it to the coronavirus pandemic and its attendant impact, which hindered foreign nationals from visiting the parks.
SOURCE: The Guardian (Nigeria)