Nigeria

Governor Bagudu seeks federal government’s collaboration to harness tourist potential of Kebbi

Gov. Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi has called for collaboration with the Federal Government to harness and expand tourist attractions and sites in the state.

Bagudu made the call at the 44th edition of the UN World Tourism Day celebration organised by the state government in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture on Monday in Birnin Kebbi.

Newsmen report that the cay has been held on Sept. 27 each year since 1980.

Newsmen report that the date marks the anniversary of the adoption of the Statutes of the Organization in 1970.

Bagudu noted that the state was blessed with historical sites and monuments, located across the 21 Local Government Areas.

“We have the Argungu International Fishing and Cultural Festival which is celebrated annually in the ancient town of Argungu and enjoys a premier position as the number one cultural festival of its kind.

“We have the Hottungo, a Fulani Cultural Festival.

This is an annual Fulani Festival celebrated for the safe return of their cattle from Southern Nigeria where they usually migrate for grazing before the commencement of the rainy season in their normal place of residence known as “MASHEKARI”.

“We have the Regatta Festival of Yauri Emirate, which is a Gunganci word meaning, marine war.”

“In its social context, the word connotes buoyancy and prestige. And the annual cultural festival of Yauri people involves riverine manoeuvres, including water sports and entertainment.

“We also have the Uhola Cultural Festival, which is an important traditional festival of the Lelna people of Zuru in Kebbi.

“It is a significant cultural festival enriched with various activities to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Dakarkari ethnic group and an elaborate agricultural show displaying crops variety and bountiful harvest.”

Bagudu, represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Samaila Dabai, sought a robust collaboration with the Federal Government and its agencies to harness and expand the state’s tourist attractions and sites.

He expressed joy that the state was chosen as the host of the 2021World Tourism Day.

“We are proud that the State has distinguished itself as a one-stop-shop for tourism and culture,” the governor said. Earlier, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, said that sustainable tourism would promote territorial cohesion and socio-economic inclusion for the most vulnerable.

He said it will also help communities to hold onto their unique natural and cultural heritage.

“It will also support conservation, safeguard endangered species and keep traditions alive,” he said.

The minister explained that the annual celebration would foster global awareness of the social, cultural, political and economic value of tourism.

He said it is also a contribution of the sector towards reaching the Sustainable Development Goals. He also commended the efforts of the government and people of Kebbi in tourism promotion, particularly through the Argungu International Fishing Festival.

The minister assured the state government of his ministry’s continuous support in their drive to ensure that tourism was accorded a priority status as an important economic driver.”

It is our collective responsibility to ensure that tourism remains a sector of hope, providing opportunities for empowerment and entrepreneurship for people and education.

“I enjoin all stakeholders to place inclusiveness at the centre of their strategies in order to develop a safe, unique and overwhelming experience for visitors.

“I must not fail to reiterate that Nigeria’s Creative Industry, which comprises film and movies, fashion, music, arts, etc., is globally recognised and accepted.

“Our Movie industry, which – in the pre-COVID-19 pandemic era – produced over 200 movies monthly, which is rated second in the world after Hollywood.”

Kebbi, with its beautiful and breathtaking scenery, is a good place for movie shooting,” he said.

Newsmen report that the theme for this year’s celebration was, “Tourism for Inclusive Growth”.

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