… As Prof. Eniang Lauds NPS CG,
CEPF, UNDP, SGP, Nigeria
The Coordinator of South-South Tourism Roundtable Steering Committee, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has commended the National Park Service, Nigeria (NPS), for graciously donating a pair of two sub-adult birds, Peafowls (Pavo cristatus) to the Biodiversity Preservation Center (BPC), Uyo Akwa Ibom State for the purposes of teaching, learning, tourism, entertainment and research.
Dr. Kiyaramo, the Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, who made commendation at the Victor Attah International Airport Uyo, at the weekend while receiving the Peafowls on arrival with the Chief Executive Officer of Biodiversity Preservation Center Uyo, Prof. Edem Archibong Eniang, secifically lauded the Conservator-General of the National Park Service, Nigeria, Dr. Ibrahim M. Goni for responsibly preserving, enhancing, protecting and managing vegetation and wildlife in the nation’s national parks.
He said the people of the South-South geopolitical region, particularly Bayelsa State, will remain ever grateful to the Conservator-General for facilitating the approval of two new national parks in the zone, namely, Edumanon and Apoi Creek National Parks, located in Bayelsa State.
Speaking at a brief reception which took place at the Victor Attah International Airport Uyo, on his arrival with the sub-adult birds (Peafowls) on Saturday, Chief Executive Officer of the Biodiversity Preservation Center, Uyo, Prof. Edem Archibong Eniang, a wildlife expert/biodiversity conservationist, said he was highly elated that the pair of birds arrived Uyo safely, just as he expressed gratitude to God, and to the federal government, particularly the National Park Service headquarters, Abuja, for the kind gestures being extended to the Biodiversity Preservation Centre, Uyo.
Prof. Eniang, a renowned world researcher at the Department of Forestry and Wildlife in University of Uyo, who narrated his ordeal in trying to convey the birds by flight to Uyo, lamenting that the bureaucracy he went through in the hands of some airline officials before conveying the birds to Uyo was terrible, informing that the two sub-adult birds, peafowls (Pavo cristatus) were graciously donated to the Biodiversity Preservation Center Uyo, by the National Park Service headquarters, Abuja for teaching, learning, tourism, entertainment and research purposes.
He thanked the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF and the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and Small Grants Programme (SGP Nigeria), being implemented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for their immense support through their Small Grants awarded to BPC, which according him, has helped to bring the conservation education Center to where it is today as a well known ecotourism tourism destination in Akwa Ibom State.
“The birds arrived Uyo, Akwa Ibom State in good health and shape, having earlier received full complements of strict veterinary care of the National Parks Service officials, and duly certified safe and healthy. I am so grateful to God, and to the Conservator-General of the National Park Service, Nigeria, Dr. Ibrahim M. Goni and his management team for donating the Peafowls to the Biodiversity Preservation Center, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. I also thank ACG Muhammad Kabir who facilitated the entire process that ensured the birds arrived Uyo without fail.
“I have great confidence that the incoming administration under Pastor Umo Bassey Eno will give attention to the protection and maintenance of wetlands and water catchment’s areas in Akwa Ibom State in a bid to make the state a world class ecotourism destination”, Prof. Eniang maintained.
Describing the South-South geographical zone as a global centre of endemism in terms of wildlife species, Prof. Eniang reiterated that the primary goal of conservation is to protect natural resources, forests, wildlife, plants, and biodiversity, just as he called for concerted efforts from the public and private sectors to ensure that these species that are found in the south-south zone do not go into extinction.
Also speaking, Pioneer Chairman, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), in Akwa Ibom State and Managing Director of Legacy Tourism Development Services Limited in Uyo, Mr. Usen Udoh, assured that the incoming golden era, under Pastor Umo Bassey Eno is poised at focusing on tourism and hospitality development with a view to attracting tourists and investors to the Akwa Ibom State.
Mr. Udoh maintained that the governor-elect, who understands the interdependence between the people of Akwa Ibom State and nature, being vital source for food production, maintaining of clean air and water, as well as sustaining biodiversity in a changing climate, knows that the ecology enriches human wellbeing and prosperity.
“Governor Umo Eno, during his golden administration will be poised to giving due attention to the development of green spaces, such as parks, gardens, streets lawns and recreational centres to make Akwa Ibom State, not just the pleasure capital, but the ecotourism hub in the country”, Mr. Udoh maintained.
On her part, Barr. (Mrs) Enwongo Cleopas Akwa, a legal practitioner and conservation enthusiast, expressed great delight that the birds which were being named after she and her husband (Enim and Enwongo, Lovebirds) arrived Uyo safely from Abuja and are in good health condition, assuring that she and her husband (an aircraft pilot) will make sure that the birds are well taken care of to enable them reproduce their kinds in the coming months.
The airport reception, organised by the management of BPC, was followed by a welcome party, hosted by the Mother of BPC, Mrs. Mfonobong Edem Eniang.
At the end of the ceremony the birds were introduced to their temporary accommodation, pending, completion of their permanent cage at the centre. The event was witnessed by a cross section of BPC members, including the children ambassadors of Conservation in Akwa Ibom State.