Call to Action: Tourism Enthusiast Urges Governor Eno to Ramp Up Investment in IGR

In a recent statement, Mr. Joseph Umoh, a prominent figure in the tourism sector, has called upon the state government to increase its investment in tourism to enhance the state’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Umoh, who serves as the State Chairman of the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN), made this appeal during an interaction with journalists over the weekend in Uyo.

Highlighting the considerable potential of the state’s numerous tourist sites, Umoh emphasized that these locations could generate billions of dollars for the state. He encouraged Governor Umo Eno to maintain his commitment to revitalizing and advancing the tourism sector.

Expressing concern over the neglect of significant tourism sites, such as Lord Lugard’s House in Ikot Abasi, Mary Slessor’s historic dwelling in Ibiono Ibom, and the lepers’ colony, Umoh stressed the importance of preserving these sites. He drew parallels with other countries like Israel, where religious pilgrimages contribute substantially to their economies.

Umoh, who also serves as the Managing Director of Jous Venture Leisure Group (JVLG), a local travel agency, revealed that they have identified over 18 tourism sites across the state’s 31 Local Government Areas (LGAs) that could benefit from government investment. He recalled that a Tourism Committee was established following the “Akwa Ibom Dialogue,” charged with assessing the potential of these sites for profitable ventures.

“We visited virtually all the tourism sites in the state. Some local government areas have more than one site. We visited about 18 tourism sites waiting to be developed,” Umoh stated. He highlighted specific locations like Ikot Abasi, where colonial offices including Lord Lugard’s residence and the hall where the “Aba Women Riot of 1929” began, present opportunities for development. Umoh also mentioned sites like the “bridge of no return,” symbolizing the history of slavery.

Among the other sites identified for exploration are Blue River in Ukanafun, Iko Beach in Eastern Obolo, and Usaka Forest in Obot Akara, which hosted the “Ultimate Gulder Search event” in the past.

Umoh extended an appeal to the communities hosting these potential tourist attractions, urging them to maintain peace and unity. He emphasized that the positive impacts of tourism extend to every corner of society.

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