The need for the Plateau State government to revive its tourism sector after the protracted security challenges has been highlighted by the state government, writes GOLOK NANMWA, our Plateau State Correspondent.
Plateau State is located at the centre of the country and could be described as Nigeria’s tourist haven. On assumption of office in May 29th this year, the Plateau State Governor Simon Lalong, said his administration would boost tourism and bring back life to the state in order to generate revenue to the state.
It could be recalled that Plateau, especially Riyom and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas had been crisis-ridden for over a decade, but despite the crisis, Jos is a city where everybody would love to be because the people, the weather, atmosphere and the environment are generally friendly. The city is richly blessed with a conducive climate, magnificent rock formations and undulating hills. Plateau State is also known as the Home of Peace and Tourism.
With over 30 ethnic groups, each with proud cultural heritage, the people have carved a niche for themselves in terms of hospitality. Jos represents an investor,s delight in the area of tourism as various studies on tourism development in the country have placed the city at the very fore front. The city is also a stop over point for travelers from South east, South south, South west passing through to the Northern parts of the country and vice versa.
Recently, the state governor, Simon Lalong, hosted an international golf tournament in the state with him playing as one of the amateur players. This tournament attracted golfers from all the state of the federation. Before the tournament, the Captain of lamingo Golf Club and chairman local organising committee of the tournament, Prof. Nuhu Dakum while briefing news men at the golf club field lamingo said , the tournament is aim at promoting peace and tourism in the State and to honour Governor Simon Lalong for being a golfer and a onetime Captain of the Lamingo Golf Club.
“The Governor of the state has great interest in reviving sporting activities in the state.
Governor Lalong has expressed his commitment towards boosting tourism and sports in the state “. Prof. Nuhu maintained that the Governor’s Cup tournament would attract lots of business investors into the state since peace has returned to Plateau State.
He called on organisations and sport spirited individuals to come and team up with the governor in promoting sporting activities on the Plateau. For instance, the tournaments for last year commenced on December 15 at the Lamingo Golf Club climaxed on the 20th December 2015 with an award of trophies to well deserved clubs and individuals in Jos.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of a golf tournament, held at Lamingo Golf Club Jos, Gov Lalong promised to boost tourism in the state through Golfing tournaments inorder to generate internal revenue. “Our government is determined to develop tourism to the fullest as a strong and sustainable economic activity.
“Our vision is to reposition plateau state as the foremost tourist destination in Nigerian “ he added. Lalong who is a golfer himself, said “for the winner and the runner up of tournament in the professional category will have return tickets to Dubai”.
The governor further said that his administration would do everything within its powers to ensure that the Lamingo Golf Club that hosted this years edition of the tournament and Rayfield Golf Club are made green courses. He assured that the courses would be made in such an attractive manner that golfers in the country would love to have their holidays in Plateau particularly now that peace has returned to the state.
Lalong announced that the tournament would be made an annual event in order to bring golfers to Jos every year as government was working towards bringing Plateau back to its status as the home of peace and tourism. “Apart from the health benefits derived from the exercise, golf helped to unify the people , he added. Tina Maika, Captain Lamingo Golf Club and overall winner in the female category of 2015 Plateau Governors Cup tournament also appreciated Gov. Simon Lalong for sponsoring the tournament.
She thanked the governor for affording them the opportunity to play alongside the best golfers in the country and urged him to make the tournament a yearly event. Prof. Nuhu Dakum, Captain Lamingo Golf Club and Chairman Central Planning Committee, said that the state would soon reap from the numerous benefits of the governors gesture. Dakum listed some of the benefits of golf to include tourism and hospitality, attraction of investors/investments and the numerous health benefits.