By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – PRESIDENT of the Senate, Senator Ahmad Lawan, has called on the Federal Government to through the Ministries and Agencies as well as Corporate bodies to partner the Yobe State Government on the Mauyi Ganga fishing and cultural festival.
Speaking on the prospects and benefits of the fishing and Cultural festival, Lawan said that the event which is capable of developing Nigeria’s tourism potential, would provide employment and create wealth for citizens of Yobe State.
This year’s event, which held at River Alkamaram, Mauyi Ganga, featured colourful cultural display and was widely attended by dignitaries including the Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni, notable traditional rulers led by Emir of Bade, Mai Suleiman Abubakar and citizens from within and outside the state.
In a statement signed by his Special Assistant, Press, Ezrel Tabiowo, the President of the Senate said, “We (President Muhammadu Buhari Administration and the All Progressive Congress) are trying to ensure that we diversify the economy through the promotion of agriculture, solid minerals development and tourism.
“In Yobe State, we are also trying to explore opportunities. The Mauyi Ganga annual fishing and cultural festivals are very old event.
“Unfortunately, in 1993 or thereabout, the festivities stopped due to some reason, and now that we are pushing for diversification, the government of Yobe and indeed the people of Bade emirate decided that we should revive this and vitalize the event for the benefit of our people in addition to sustaining our culture.
“The fishing festival is an additional way of getting revenue for our people, creating employment opportunities and wealth, and of course for our state, it is going to be beneficial for revenue generation in the form of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).”
Lawan however expressed the willingness of the state to partner with relevant agencies of government and corporate organizations to build on the tourism potential of the Mauyi Ganga cultural and fishing festival.
The President of the Senate said, “We want to ensure that we partner and don’t limit the annual event to our state only. Next year we hope to explore the possibility of partnering with federal government agencies, corporate bodies and individual who have the desire and drive to support this kind of thing.
“We are not going to be begging for support, we are going to be asking for partnership and cooperation that everybody at the end of the day should be a winner.
“I’m sure the agencies would like to participate here because this is an effort the federal government is supposed to encourage to ensure that we create job opportunities for our people and create wealth.
“So, I’m sure there will be agencies that would come to partner with us like the Tourism board and Ministry of Information.
“We have to graduate from national support to international participation, though ambitious, we want to take one step at a time.
“Next year’s event will be better than this year because what we did was to only kick-start it.
“I’m sure that we have seen some of the loopholes that we have to attend to, so as to ensure that of next year is bigger and better, even though I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people that turned up.
“The turn-up was huge, and I believe we have to do everything possible to sustain the enthusiasm and desire of people to see that the annual event continues.”