By Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Conservator General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Park Service Dr. Ibrahim Musa Goni has assured the Plateau State Government that the takeover of the Pandam Game Reserve in Quanpan Local Government Area of the State will lead to enormous development of tourism, security and economic opportunities for the citizenry.
Musa disclosed this when he met with Governor Simon Lalong at the Plateau Governor’s lodge, Abuja to brief him on the approval for the Federal Government takeover of the Pandam Game Reserve by President Muhammadu Buhari to become a National Park.
He said the application by Plateau State Government for the takeover of the park and its upgrade into a National Park has been pending since 2012, and after due analysis and recommendation, the President approved it out of the many applications from many States.
He said when the takeover is completed, all staff of the Park who wish to join the National Park Service will be absorbed. In addition, he told Governor Lalong that security of the Park will be enhanced with technology and more personnel.
More infrastructure according to him will also be provided for the park, “to boost tourism and enhance its fortunes through international funding such as the Green Fund.
He maintained that, “jobs will be created for the host community who will benefit from activities in and around the Park”.
Responding, an elated Governor Lalong expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the takeover of the Pandam Game Reserve among the 10 recently granted approvals out of the over 100 applications from various States.
He said, “the assurances by the Conservator General are assuring as the lack of information has fueled unfounded anxiety by some people who think the State is losing the Park.
According to him, “This is not correct as the State is rather going to gain by having Federal interventions that will make the Park more viable, safe and secure.
Lalong said apart from improving the value of the Park, “there is going to be better security of the reserve which has in recent times become a hideout for criminals.
The Governor invited the Conservator General and his team to visit the State immediately for further interface with key stakeholders towards the smooth takeover of the Park.