JOS – The Plateau State Government said on Friday that it was prepared for a post oil era economic regime in the country by developing other sources of revenue generation, especially the tourism sector.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mr Abraham Yiljap, made the the assertion in Jos when he visited some tourist sites in Riyom and Jos South Local Government Areas of the state.
Yiljap said that oil as an economic resource was not permanent and would dry up some day.
“But tourism will never be exhausted; it will be always be there and interest on it is permanent.
“The emphasis today is on oil, but one day the oil will finish and what will follow oil naturally is agriculture.
“But there is another resource that never finishes that you do not need to plant and wait for a season to harvest and that is tourism.
“Tourism doesn’t have season, it is in season all year round.
“As oil is to Niger Delta, so is tourism to Plateau. The sector is getting its deserved attention, especially now that Plateau has entered a post conflict era,’’ he said.
Yiljap said that it was important for the state to draw massive attention to its tourism potential, notin that it was discovering more sites and documenting them for development.
The commissioner said the ministry was collaborating with the local government councils where the sites were located to develop them and make them more attractive for tourists.
According to him, with the synergy between the ministry, local governments and other agencies of government, more awareness will be created about the tourist sites.
“The ministry is going to work on a conscious awareness package that will encourage people to take off time to visit the sites and relax,’’ he said.
He said that government was working with private partners by establishing the right environment for those interested to maximise their investments.
“Government will create the enabling environment, provide the infrastructure and ensure adequate awareness before setting out the terms for partnering with private handlers that will manage the sites,’’ he explained.
Before visiting the sites, the commissioner had paid courtesy calls on the chairmen of Riyom and Jos South Local Government Councils.
The chairmen pledged their resolve to partner with the ministry to develop the tourist sites and also shore up publicity to garner more interests from members of the public.
Among places visited were Riyom rock formation, popular Riyom Rock and the structure that housed the first Court of Appeal in Northern Nigeria.
Other areas included the Assop Falls and the Dura Kaoilin sites. (NAN)