By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
The Conservator-General of National Park Services, Ibrahim Goni recently said that the different challenges facing the tourist centres under his watch across the country, includes herdsmen and Parks Management clashes.
Goni, who reiterated this at National Parks headquarters in Abuja when Executive members of Environment Correspondents paid him courtesy visit, also listed infrastructure deficit, bad road network and other forms of insecurity as parts of the problems facing tourism in Nigeria.
Our correspondent reports that apart from National parks in Abuja, National Parks has seven other parks across the country which are located in five out of six geopolitical zones.
Speaking on why South East has no National Park, Goni explained that in the past, governors in the region have not made request from Federal government and has not shown the willingness to have it.
He added that any region that wishes to have National Park must show readiness by making available forest guards, disclosing that South East region is not also included in the ten newly proposed National Parks.
“No forest guards in South East and there must be forest guards on ground before we say National parks be established. It is a desire. It is just recently that some South East governors are showing interest”, he said.
The existing seven Parks include: Kainji Lake park, Okomu park, Kamuku park, Gashaka Gumti park, Old Oyo park, Cross River park and Chad Basin park.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for bridging the gaps in infrastructure development of tourists, Goni called him not to relent in order to diversify economy of Nigeria.
Earlier, the Chairman of Environment Correspondents’ Association, Chuks Oyema had informed management of National Park Service that the journalists covering Environment beat are interested in knowing the true state of tourist centres in Nigeria.