By Ebuka Obidinma
Dr Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General, National Park Service, has called on state governors whose games reserves were upgraded to national parks to provide the service with necessary support to kick-start its operations.
Goni said this when he led a team of the men and officers of the service on a courtesy visit to the governors of Jigawa and Kano states.
Goni said that for the successful take over of the games reserve, it is important for all the governors to create committees saddled with responsibilities of ensuring smooth transitioning.
He added that political, financial as well as technical support form the states was needed for the service to begin operations there.
“The steering committee should be set up, if it is not already in place, for the smooth transition of the forest reserve to national park.
“We wish that office accommodation be provided within the catchment area because we have already procured office equipment, so we need office accommodation, where these equipments can be moved to.
“We also wish that all stakeholders, particularly youths, women groups and traditional institutions around the community be adequately involved in the transition.
“We also wish that the state government provides the service in the current status report of the conservation enclaved as we need to know the infrastructure, how often the animals are sighted, and the types of animals sighted.
“We will all need to know the type of plants that predominate in the area and the challenges that the area is facing,” he said.
The C-G informed the governors that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved a N500 million take off grant which was used to procure vehicle and other equipment after due consultations with the states on their specific needs.
“The needs differ from state to state; some said they wanted boats, some, other vehicles and some, patrol equipment which we have bought.
“We have also procured fire arms, patrol equipment and also office equipment, so that by the time the whistle is blown for the take off, we will have a successful take off,” he said.
Goni appealed to the Kano state government to constitute a steering committee to interface with the Service, for a successful take over of the game reserve.
“It is one of the reasons why we are here so that we can discuss with his Excellency to constitute a steering committee and we have given modalities on how to constitute the steering committee.
“We also appeal that his Excellency to provide office accommodations, where we can identify the staff on ground and those who may want to move their service to the federal level.
“We also appeal that the youth, women, and traditional rulers where the park is located should be included in the committee,” he said.
For his part, Governor Mohammed Abubakar of Jigawa, who was represented by the deputy governor Alhaji Umar Namadi, said that the take over of the reserve by the federal government is a welcome development that would give the state international recognition.
“The Jigawa state government is ready to give you the necessary support that is required to ensure a successful take over of the park.
“We believe that the take-over of the park will bring a lot of benefits to our people and being a government of the people and for the people, everything that is required will be done to make sure that the take over is done successfully”.
On his own part also, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje, who was represented by Dr Ali Hamza, Commissioner for Culture & Tourism, Kano State expressed the readiness of the state government to support the smooth kick off of the national park.
“On the establishment of the new national park, Kano will be at the fore front and I want to assure you that I will forward your message to his Excellency,.
“Kano is interested, Kano is willing and Kano will be at the forefront,” he said.
Hadejia Wetlands Games Reserve, in Jigawa state, is one of the ten game/forest reserves.
The game reserve is spread across Guri, Kirikasamma and Auyo local government areas of the state.
The Falgore Game reserve on the other hand, is in Kano state.
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