By Ikechukwu Iweajunwa
Owerri – Gov. Rochas Okorocha of Imo State on Wednesday said the state government was ready to invest more resources to develop the zoological garden in the state to international standard.
Okorocha made the promise when the Association of Zoological Gardens and Parks, led by Dr Olajumoke Morenikeji, its National President, paid him a courtesy visit shortly after inspecting the state zoo.
“I am ready to invest more in the zoo because not only will it promote nature, but will serve as a major tourism development in the country.
“I am fully in support of your visit and Imo Government will donate land and structures if you can come up with better ideas,” he said.
Okorocha urged Nigerians to go back to nature, adding that any state that was not promoting nature might end up losing the nature’s gifts.
He said that Imo government would support any ideas from the association if they would promote nature.
Earlier, Morenikeji, had expressed the association’s satisfaction with the progress recorded so far by Imo Government in upgrading the state zoo.
She enjoined the governor to ensure that the zoo was upgraded to international standard.
According to her, the governor has taken bold steps to upgrade the zoo which had suffered a long period of neglect.
Morenikeji said the zoo, which also served as tourism destination, was part of nature which must not be forsaken or killed.
“We have seen what the governor is doing in Imo zoological garden and it is quit commendable because all the structures are in place.
“Our advice is for the governor to still put in more efforts to ensure that the zoo meets international standard and I assure you that we will come back again to inspect the place,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association commenced inspection of all zoos in states in the South East and South/South to ascertain their state. (NAN)