The National Parks Service has called on the three tiers of government, agencies and other relevant stakeholders to promote ecotourism in the country.
Dr Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General of National Parks Services, made the call at a virtual meeting held on Monday in Abuja.
Goni said that ecotourism would generate revenue for stakeholders, while rekindling the interest of the patrons in the sub-sector.
“I am calling on government and other relevant stakeholders to come to the aid of the National Parks Service by donating projects and programmes that will foster conservation and ecotourism in our national parks,’’ he said.
Goni listed the challenges of the National Parks Service to include paucity of funds, insecurity and lack of good roads inside and outside of the parks.
“The parks also have the challenges of poor infrastructure and poor domestic tourism,’’ he said, adding: “I believe that the collaboration of all agencies and relevant stakeholders will enhance the development of the parks.’’
He also noted that the national parks had played immense roles in research, education, biodiversity and agriculture.
Goni said that Nigeria currently has seven national parks, covering a total land area of 22,000 kilometres.
In his remarks, Mr Mohammed Kabir of Ecotourism Department of National Parks Service at Gashka Gumti, Taraba, noted that lack of operational equipment and low patronage hindered the efficient development of the parks, making the tourism business unattractive.
He said that the parks had already engaged some private sector organisations to enhance joint ecotourism development operations.
He, however, underscored the need for more investments in the development of the national parks.