The National Parks Services, has called on the three tiers of government, agencies and relevant stakeholders to promote ecotourism.
Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General of National Parks Services made the call at a virtual meeting held on Monday in Abuja.
Goni assured that ecotourism would generate revenue for stakeholders while patrons’ interests would be rekindled.
“I am calling on government and other relevant stakeholders to come to the aid of the National Parks Services 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 Services 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 noted also that the national parks played immense roles in research, education, biodiversity and in agriculture.
Goni said 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 the National Parks Services at Gashka Gumti, Taraba, noted that lack of operational equipment and low patronage hindered the efficient development of the parks making tourism business unattractive.
He said that the parks had already engaged the private sector to enhance joint operations, but needed more investments.