By Marie-Therese Nanlong
The efforts to improve the tourism sector in Plateau State have received a boost as the State Governor, Simon Lalong has concluded plan to acquire two Rhinos from Kenya to increase the number of animals in the Jos Wild Life Park.
It would be recalled that the Governor had been on a peer review tour of Kenya in the last one week to seek areas of collaborations in agriculture, tourism, entertainment, human capital development as well as tea and flower production.
Speaking with the Kenyan Deputy President, William Ruto in Nairobi, Lalong, according to a statement by his Director of Press and Public Affairs, Makut Macham intimated the Deputy President that he has visited several counties and discussed opportunities in agriculture, tourism, entertainment, tea and flower production, human capital development among others.
The Governor however made a special appeal to Deputy President Ruto to facilitate the acquisition of two Rhinos, explaining that the State wants to acquire them in line with the request of the 3rd Division of the Nigerian Army situated in Rukuba, near Jos which has Rhino as its symbol.
He added that the visit has afforded him opportunity to identify areas of mutual interest in business and peer review learning that could be exploited for the good of the citizens of both countries using the platforms of the Northern States in Nigeria and Counties in Kenya.
According to him, “For a long time we have been ignoring the potentials within the continent and flying to other continents such as Europe, America, and China in search of solutions that could easily be obtained from sister countries in Africa who share similar characteristics with us.
Issues such as farming, conflicts resolution, cooperatives, small scale industries and value addition could easily be shared between us with more results than those from cultures and paradigms that are very distant from ours.”
Responding, the Deputy President Ruto appreciated the Governor’s visit to Kenya which he described as not only timely but a game changer in relations between the two countries and described as unfortunate the low volume on trade and person to person exchanges between Africans which he said was undermining development and growth.
He said, “there is an erroneous notion that when we talk about investment in Africa, it has to come from Europe, Asia, America or other parts of the world except the continent. It is only us that can solve our problems using solutions that are common to us. Your visit to our County Governors is the beginning of that exchange that we shall very soon see the benefits.”
He promised to work with the Nigerian High Commission in Kenya towards facilitating the request of the Governor for two Rhinos, a process he says is cumbersome but not impossible.