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,
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
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
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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