PLATEAU State is blessed with an
accommodating weather and it is
located near the centre of Nigeria.
The state also has 17 local government
areas, six LGAs in the Northern Zone,
five at the central zone and another six
from the Southern Zone.
The numerous tourism attractions
has made it a home of peace and
tourism and also a tourist haven for
many.
Our correspondent gathered that
before the crisis that rocked the state
about a decade ago, people from
different parts of the country trooped
into the state because of the friendly
weather condition and tourism
potentials. The scenery and rich
cultural and historical heritage and
excellent weather give Plateau State
strong potential as a destination for
tourism and recreation.
The state is also home to over 54 ethnic
tribes. The present administration in
the state spoke passionately about
tourism’s investment potentials and its
multiplier effect for the state,
vowed to boost the tourism sector
in order to diversify the economy.
Governor Simon Lalong made it clear
that his administration would try
to complete all relevant abandoned
projects in the state.
Recently, the governor said the state
was doing everything possible to reembrace
tourism which it is known for
over the years especially now that peace
has returned to the state. The governor
said his recent visit to South Africa was
aimed at developing tourism in Plateau
State.
The governor said that “In South
Africa, I didn’t go alone. I went with
some commissioners and some House
of Assembly members and right there
in South Africa, we told them what we
are doing at every place we visited. It
was really to the benefit of Plateau State,
specifically it was about tourism.
“Our relationship in the area of
tourism is obvious; you know Plateau is
the home of peace and tourism. We are
trying to maintain the peace now. When
we achieve that fully, we are going back
to tourism.
“South Africa is one place that is
renowned for tourism, so we went
there to see some of the places and
also to create partnership with them
to come to Plateau and invest in
tourism. While we were there, we also
explored opportunities to visit sites
like the headquarters of Shoprite. We
need shopping malls in Plateau, we
are building the main market and in
addition to that, we are also thinking of
having so many shopping malls in the
State”, he added.
To boost tourism in the state , the state
government is planning to organise a
carnival to boost tourism potentials.
Speaking to newsmen recently, the
chairman Organising Committee of
Plateau State 2016 Carnival, Eric Takon,
underscored the role of the tourism sector
as a valuable and sustainable source of
livelihood for millions of citizens of the
state.
Takon disclosed this during the
inauguration of the committee for the
2016 Plateau State Peace Carnival. The
inauguration was held at the Plateau
State Ministry of Tourism.
Takon encouraged the people to add
their voices to various calls made across
the state on the need for the Plateau State
Government to put greater emphasis on
the development of its tourism sector. He
expressed optimism that with the return
of peace to Plateau State and its environ,
the federal and state governments stand
to improve internal revenue generation
through the tourism sector.
He also said “Plateau State has a better
advantage over so many other states
to benefit from tourism. We have the
advantage of weather and population. I
need to emphasise that Plateau has the
best of the ingredients of tourism.
“We have fascinating tourist sites,
enviable cultural festivals, good weather,
good and hospitable people”, the
chairman said.
The Commissioner for Tourism of the
state, Hon. Peter Mwankon, said that the
proposed Jos carnival committee has the
primary purpose of planning, developing
and delivering high quality carnival and
using the underlying values as a vehicle
to engage and advance community
cohesion to drive tourism.
Remark Ditem, a citizen of the
state praised the state government
for boosting tourism stressing that
he was impressed by the fact that
Lalong’s administration was leaving
no stone unturned to ensure practical
development and promotion of
domestic tourism, which will propel
job creation, develop the state’s
economy and raise social awareness on
cultural preservation and environment
protection.
It could be recalled that in order to
boost tourism, Lalong recently said that
the long forgotten Roc International
Hotel is one of the projects he has
penciled down for completion. Roc
International Hotel, is an abandoned
towering structure at Shere Hills
around Lamingo in Jos North Local
Government Area of Plateau State.
Our correspondent gathered
that it was the late Chief Solomon
Lar’s government that awarded the
contract of the hotel in 1981 to the
Flemingdon Dev. (Nig) Limited
with the aim of building a five star
hotel with 318 rooms on completion.
However, 35 years down the line, the
hotel has seen different governors
attempting to complete it without
success but Governor Lalong said his
administration would complete it to
boost tourism sector.
Pius Hommen, another citizen
of Plateau who recently spoke to
our correspondent said, the state
government should be commended
for its efforts towards economic
diversification of the state, especially
the plans to boost tourism sector. He
expressed optimism that if the effort
is sustained, it would improve the
lives of citizens of the state as well as
improve internally generated revenue
of the state.
Nagelu Garba, another citizen
of the state who also spoke to our
correspondent said he is postive that
Plateau has the potential to generate
billions of naira annually from tourism
if properly harnessed. He also stressed
that Plateau is blessed with a lot of
tourist sites and favourable weather
that encourage many to visit the state
barring security concerns.
“The unique weather in Plateau
which is usually likened to temperate
climate condition of Europe is what
every tourist would want to see and
experience”. He further stated that,
“another serious attraction to tourists
is golfing and Plateau is the centre of
golf course in Nigeria as it has three
compact and standard golf courses”.
It would be noted that the state
government had recently sponsored
and encouraged golfers to visit the
state. It is believed that if the current
effort to develop the tourism sector is
sustained, Plateau State would reclaim
its glory as a tourist destination in the
country.

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