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Gov. Alex Otti says Abia State will establish National Park to boost tourism

Alex Otti, Abia

By Orji Onyekwere

Abia State Governor, Dr. Alex C. Otti, OFR, has expressed the desire of the state government to establish a National Park in the State. The Governor stated this during a courtesy visit by the Conservator General, National Park, Abuja, and his entourage at Government House Umuahia.

The Governor, represented by his Deputy, Engr. Ikechukwu Lekwachi Emetu, FNSE, expressed total commitment of the state government to establishing a National Park in the state to promote tourism, ensure job creation, reduce youth restiveness as well as promote local contractors engagement.

This he said, translates to increased internally generated revenue for the state. Emetu thanked the Conservator General for his earnest concern for the establishment of a National Park in Abia State, a first of its kind in the South Eastern Geo-political zone of Nigeria.

Earlier in his speech, the Conservator General, National Park, Abuja, Dr. Ibrahim Goni, said that the South East is the only zone in Nigeria that does not have a National Park and expressed confidence in Dr. Otti’s led government to be the first to hoist the flag of National Park in the South East by ensuring the establishment of a National Park in the South Eastern part of the country as soon as possible.

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The Conservator General listed the pros of having a National Park in the state to include; the provision of employment opportunities, establishment of a serene vegetation, protection of the environment, regeneration and afforestation, and the encouragement of animal immigration. He subsequently, presented to the Governor, a plague in recognition of his ardent contribution to national growth.

The Conservator General, National Park, Abuja is currently in Abia State for the second International Conference of the College of Natural Resources and Environmental Management of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, whose local organizing committee is chaired by Prof. E. C. Nzegbue.

In his vote of thanks, Prof. E. C. Nzegbue thanked the Commissioner for Environment for his enthusiasm and optimism towards the success of the conference, positing that there are facilities to facilitate the establishment of a National Park in the state. He described the visit by the Conservator General, National Park as a fruitful journey that will lead to the establishment of a National Park in Abia State under the leadership of Dr. Alex Chioma Otti, OFR.

At the event were the commissioners of Environment and Urban Renewal, Mr. Philemon Asonye Ogbonna; Youth Development and Sports, Chief Nwaobilor Ananaba; Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Prof Joel Friday Ogbonna; and Agriculture, Prof Monica Irokwe. Others are the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Environment, Prof Ijeoma Iheukwumere; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Lady Joy Maduka among others.

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