By Patrick Osadebamwen.
The absence of tourism infrastructure on the Mambilla Plateau makes Taraba state lose an average of N1bn annually on Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
This view was expressed to select journalists by tourism expert atop the Mambilla Plateau, naturally sited at Gembu, headquarters of Sardauna Local Governmment Area (LGA) of Taraba State.
The media session was organized by Mmadipotwana, a South African-based media communication outfit headed by Ms. Moleboheng Matli.
Managing Director, Taraba Tourism Board, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Gidado Abubakar who fielded questions from journalist in a media chat at the Bizare Guest House on the Mambilla stressed that we brought you here to see for yourself “nature’s gift to the Nigerian nation and mankind.
“If it is in Naira we talking of hundreds of billions my conservative estimate is we would have been generating between USD1bn and USD2bn per annum because most of the business activities are interrelated cutting across social, academic, agricultural and even sports,” he stated.
Gidado said the State Government is not comfortable with the present status of the Mambilla Plateau which measures about 5,000 feet above sea levels emphasizing that the Taraba state government was open to serious minded local or international investors ready to invest in the Mambilla opportunities to boost the status of the Plateau for the benefits of mankind.
He said the Mambilla is a tourist’s delight any time, any day as it plays host to awesome environmental definitions peculiar to the Mambilla.
Gidado emphasized that His Excellency, Ag. Governor of Taraba State, Alhaji Umar Garba insists that the State will only do business with genuine investors as it will not entertain frivolities.
He pointed out that the activities of the government of Taraba to improve the face of the 5,000sqkm Mambilla Plateau leaves a lot of opportunities for tourism investors from across the globe to cash in on, access and deploy the needed tourism infrastructure that would make them earn returns on their investment within a short while.
Gidado noted that the state still holds dear its dream to build two first class hotels, Presidential Resort, for annual visit by Nigerians as well as hosting annual retreat by members of the National Assembly and Governors Forum to give it the political status it needs to fully pick up.
Speaking further on the Mambilla, Gidado said the Administration also believes that developing a meat and dairy-related clusters on the Mambilla would expand commercial activities and improve the IGR of the state for more people oriented programmes.
He said this dreams have been dwarfed by meagre resources available to the state but maintained that the administration of the Taraba State Ag. Governor, Umar Garba has opened his door to welcome genuine investors.
The Taraba state tourism boss said already the state has awarded contract for the construction of the road connecting Mambilla to other parts of the state to ease accessibility to the Plateau.
The session according to Matli was aimed at bringing the reality of Mambilla’s tourism potentials to the consciousness of global tourists interests with a view to attracting investors to this “tourism haven which holds many wonderful nature’s secrets to be revealed.”
By Patrick Osadebamwen.