Tourism development: Picnickers urge Nigerians to patronise indigenous parks, gardens
Some fun-seekers had advised Nigerians to cultivate the habit of patronising indigenous parks, gardens and recreational centres as a way of promoting and projecting locally-made goods
They told the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) on Easter Monday at Hi Impact Planet Amusement Park in Magboro, Ogun , that people would through this means be internalising ``promoting Nigerian made goods as a first option’’ policy being spearheaded by the Federal Government.
This would discourage capital flight from the country but would encourage more employment opportunities, they said.
``All the ideas about patronising locally produced products must start from here, if what we are looking for in Disney Land has been replicated here, then why travelling overseas.’’
They also advised Nigerians to always form the habits of saving in bits for their families so that they could go on recreation during holidays and festivities.
They also said that when people patronised parks and gardens, they would be closer to nature and their lives would be elongated through recreation.
They said that when families visit parks and gardens, they were indirectly paying the salaries and wages of workers of such sites, promoting employment and reducing unemployment.
They urged the three tiers of government to create enabling environments for the organised private sector to tap into the potentials in the tourism sector in the country.
They, however, lamented that Nigeria was yet to tap the resources abound in the tourism sector optimally.
One of picnickers at the park, Mr Oluwaseun Adetoro ,an Insurance broker, said that despite the economic challenges and fuel crises, people still trooped-out to enjoy with their families at Easter.
``This is a statement that our life is incomplete without tourism, and it is, indeed, a sector for all.
``I make sure I dedicate this time for my family so that we can relax and talk on what concerns the family.
``It is true the economic situation is worrisome but I know I need to safe for today because I see entertainment as a way of relaxing with my family.
``Look at what we have here today, this is the only way we can have fun together in a relaxed atmosphere without having to spend much,’’ he
Also, Mr Sunday Ngegu, a business man and a resident of Ajah, a suburb of Lagos, commended various operators of parks and gardens across the country for investing in their developments.
Ngegu urged Nigerians to begin to patronize local parks and gardens as a way of developing what belongs to them.
He said that he saw no reasons why people should travel abroad to recreate because what they were going for there could be found in the country.
``Tourism is here with us, for me, I don’t see any reasons for travelling outside Nigeria to enjoy what I can enjoy here locally, at least if to safe our currency.
``All the ideas about patronising locally produced products must start from here, if what we are looking for in Disney Land has been replicated
here, then why travelling.
``The people here (Hi Impact ) have done a fantastic job of giving us a replica of what we had seen in Dubai and other developed countries.
``I will advise that people start to appreciate our heritage.
``I will also implore the Federal Government to emulate other countries by tapping from the abundant tourism potentials that abound in the country.
Also speaking, Mrs Atinuke Lawal urged government to make tourism the mainstay of the economy rather than over reliance on oil.
``Why not make tourism the mainstay of our economy, other countries are reaping bountifully from this and the irony of it is that we have more heritage sites than them.
``I think the problem with Nigerians is that they believe that they will continue to explore the oil free; and they think that there is no need to diversify into other areas such as tourism, agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
``Nobody wants to create or start anything from the scratch; we want ready-made economic gains without having to work for it; for how long are we going to continue to depend on oil?
Meanwhile , Mr Siji Oyesile, head of Public Relations of the park, called on government at
all levels to develop the industry to solve unemployment in the country.
Oyesile said this would boost the nation’s internally generated revenue (IGR) if well developed.
He said that the park, being an entertainment and tourism company, was a reflection of opportunities that abound in the industry that could provide solutions to unemployment in the country.
``This outfit has provided several employments to youths in our surrounding communities of :Magboro, Arepo, Ibafo and Mowe.
``Most of those working with us are from our host communities and this was strategic plan by the company to give a sense of belonging to those around us,’’ he said.
``We have been able to impact positively on our immediate community, by addressing their
immediate needs and this speaks volume of how big is this industry is poised to provide employment opportunities.
``If Nigeria has a good master plan for tourism, unemployment would have been reduced to the barest minimum,’’ he said.
Oyesile said that the investment at Hi-Impact was big and could accommodate everybody that wanted
to come visiting.
He said that the park had afforded picnickers the opportunity to spend their money without any stress.
``Some people that have visited this place are surprised to see that it is a worthy place where they can relax and enjoy themselves.
``They don’t have to go through the stress of exchange rate before they can have their pleasure, and this has saved tourism flight from the country to other countries,’’ he said.
NAN observed that the families and picnickers were treated to : stage dance by Madom Dance Ensemble, children and adult games, and
over 50 rides by the park.