By Abel Orukpe, Lagos
As part of efforts to promote and market the vast potentials and tourism products of Nigeria, the Anambra State Government is to partner Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) on the waste to wealth “Green City Project” in Awka.
The NTDC Director General, Mrs. Sally Mbanefo, made this known at one-day sensitisation workshop for stakeholders on tourism in Awka, the Anambra state, capital.
She explained that the Green City Project was all about conversion of waste to wealth for revenue generation and job creation.
The NTDC boss further explained that the project when fully developed would create 20,000 jobs in two years and boost Nigeria’s tourism as a preferred destination for the growing eco-tourism market.
Mbanefo pointed out that the Green City Project was designed to deliver the green city initiative as a differentiating platform for Nigeria’s eco-tourism credentials with bio-fuel refinery for conversion of waste to wealth with other attractions such as demonstration farms, botanical gardens, hotels, housing estates and sport facilities.
She listed other attraction to include industrial parks, solar farms, water parks, health malls and display of tourism artifacts that portray our cultural heritage.
According to her, “The Corporation has already found an international investor to sponsor the project for garbage to be converted into bio-fuels and bio-diesel that will be in stations manned by the youth and women in every state that can boast of huge garbage content. Dense population is a key success factor; Abuja, Onitsha, Ibadan, Kano and Lagos are excellent project models”.
Speaking at the event, the Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, commended the foresight of the NTDC boss, adding that his administration was ready to give the project the needed push to ensure its success in the state.
Obiano, who said tourism development and promotion was prioritised by his administration, described the Green City project as a viable catalyst to creating employment in the state and the country at large.
He added that the project also ensure a clean environment, which his administration had been committed to since its inception.
Obiano who said Anambra state government was looking forward to having a good and progressive relationship with NTDC, assured tourism stakeholders that his administration would open up one of the unique tourist attractions in the state, Ogbunike Caves, located in Ogbunike town in Oyi Local Government Area of the state.
The Anambra state Chief Executive Officer added that the government would advertise the cave to enable the people of the state benefit from the tourist attraction.
According him, “Ogbunike Caves has 11 entrances, but only one has been explored. We shall open up other entrances to the unique tourist site, build a 5-star hotel and a game centre, among other world standard facilities on the site; then advertise it and our people will maximally benefit from it.”
The NTDC boss described the governor’s “Operation Cleanup Anambra” as the best foundation for waste to wealth to thrive since all the garbage in each state must be centralised and cleaned off the streets.
This, she hoped would also inspire other state governors to launch their own “Waste to Wealth Green City Projects”.
The NTDC boss, who described Obiano as a passionate administrator that was willing to expend his energy to ensure good living standards for the people of the state, urged them to support the governor.
Mbanefo urged the people of the state to embrace domestic tourism, as this would create more jobs and wealth in the society.
She appealed to the people to endeavour to relax and recreate, as these would ensure longevity and good quality of life, appealing to other state governors to explore a Waste to Wealth opportunity for their states.
Source : Independent