…….to hold festivals of arts and culture for unity
Tourism has often been described as a catalyst for economic growth and development of any country or state.
No wonder then many countries of the world invest massively in tourism, places like Dubai, Kenya, Egypt, South Africa, Gambia among others have attracted people from different parts of the world through their festivals, beaches, carnivals, wildlife parks, amusement and many more.
For instance Dubai generates about $4.36 billion from tourism and hospitality and contributes 31% to the GDP, while UAE contributes $7.5 billion, in Africa, Kenya generated $803 million in 2016.
Same can be replicated in Nigeria if attention is also given to tourism and the hospitality business.
However, some of the events that can attract people on a yearly basis are festivals and arts like the one just concluded in Abeokuta, Ogun state called the Drums festival.
Also catching in to open up the potential that abounds in his state is Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State who recently announced plans to hold the festival of arts and culture in the state before the end of the year.
There are many tourism Attractions in Plateau State that can hold a tourist spell-bound, the Museum of Traditional Nigerian Architecture, Shere Hills, Riyom Rock, Pandam Game Reserve and Lake, Kahwang Rock Formation,Miango Rest House,National Museum Jos,Jos Zoological Garden and others.
The festival coming up before the end of the year is not just to attract people but also to enhance peace building and the development of young talents in the state.
The recently concluded Jos carnival 2017 is perhaps a strong signal that the government of Simon Lalong was passionate about the youths and their well-being and the desire to end bloodshed in the state and restore the state to what it has always been known for, a peaceful state.
The grand finale of the 2017 Jos Carnival was preceded by a long trek from Miango junction to the Polo field.
The governor and his wife, Regina, Deputy Governor, Prof. Sonni Tyoden and the Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, were among those who participated in the event
People and Residents from all walks of life, including horse riders and bikers, joined in the celebration. Also not left out were all top government officials present, includes, the Deputy Governor, Prof. Sunny Tyoden, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Rtd Hon. Peter Azi, Commissioners, Management Committee Chairmen and other political appointees both APC and PDP faithfuls together matched along the Joseph Gomwalk express way.
Governor Simon Lalong while addressing the jubilant crowd at the Polo field said the days of mourning and burial as a result of crisis or attacks was over.
He stressed that the carnival would be a continuous exercise in the state as it brought together people of the State displaying their rich cultural heritage.
The governor also use to opportunity to call on youths to desist from any form of crime and use the opportunity to develop their God given talents for the uplift of Plateau State and Nigeria in general.
According to Lalong, ” I am the happiest Governor in the 36 states of the federation today, the days of mourning and burial is over in Plateau State. I’m optimistic that we are going to hold another carnival of culture and festival on the Plateau by God’s Grace,”.
The carnival described as a well thought initiative no doubt has generated some revenue for the state, afforded first timers to the state the opportunity to see the rich cultural heritage of the people and also witness first hand the works done by the present administration in that state.