Pix 1, L-R, Senior Special Assistant to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo, Pastor Kelvin Efiok Otung and Mr. Usen Udoh.
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo, says the south-south regional integration efforts will go a long in helping to overcome divisions that often impede flow of goods, services, capital, people and ideas, adding that such divisions would rather become constraint to economic growth and cooperation.
Dr. Kiyaramo, who stated this at a pre South-South Tourism Roundtable Steering Committee inuagural hangout, hosted by Kelvin Efiok Otung (Pastor), at the Discovery Park, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, for some members of the Steering Committee, hinted on plans to host tourism experts, academics, researchers and media experts in Uyo, under the auspices of South South Tourism Roundtable to chart a regional tourism agenda for the region.
While commending Governor Udom Emmanuel’s impactful administration in the area of tourism infrastructures, particularly the good road networks and green spaces and recreational parks in the city of Uyo, Dr. Kiyaramo expressed hope in the incoming administration under the man fondly referred to as the “golden boy” of Akwa Ibom State, the governor-elect, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, to continue from where the batten will be handed to him by the out going governor.
Dr. Kiyaramo, who also doubles as coordinator of the South-South Tourism Roundtable Steering Committee, said experts expected at the inaugural meeting of the South South Tourism Roundtable, which will be led by a renowned biodiversity expert and Director of Biodiversity Preservation Centre, Uyo, Professor Edem Eniang of the University of Uyo.
Pix 2, L-R, Mr. Nature Udoh, CEO of Discovery Park, Uyo, Senior Special Assistant to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo, Pastor Kelvin Efiok Otung and Mr. Usen Udoh.
In a solidarity message, Chief Executive Officer of Ogba Zoo, Benin city, Andy Ehinare expressed the urgent need to harness the economics of scale of the south-south region towards having a Regional Tourism Master Plan.
He noted that planning is an important process by which governments and the private sector operators can manage tourism at the national, local and organizational levels, informing that: “Tourism planning is a process, based on research and evaluation, which seeks to optimize the potential contributions of tourism to human welfare and environmental quality in a particular region or country “.
Also speaking, Managing Director of Legacy Tourism Development Services Limited, Mr. Usen Udoh, praised Arc. Obong Victor Attah’s legacies as one time governor of Akwa Ibom State, informing that Arc. Attah crafted the Uyo master plan which helped to guided the infrastructural development of the city of Uyo which successive administrations have followed through to give the state capital its present aesthetic beauty, making it become the tourism hub of the South-South region.
Mr. Udoh assured that the incoming administration under Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, will take Akwa Ibom State from where Gov. Udom Emmanuel will stop, saying that Akwa Ibom has become outstanding in terms of tourism facilities provided by successive governors.
“Akwa Ibom Happy Hour has indeed created opportunities for tourism enterprises, customers and visitors to network to be able to leverage on the initiative to stimulate the local economy, with a view to growing small and medium tourism enterprises to give visitors that memorable experience that Akwa can offer, beyond just food and drinks”, Udoh assured.
In his vote of thanks, the host of the hangout, Kelvin Efiok Otung (Pastor) said, he organised the pre-event hangout to enable the Steering Committee members present to share ideas concerning the forth coming official inauguration of the South-South Tourism Roundtable in Uyo.
Members of the South South Tourism Roundtable Steering Committee, include, Professor Basset Esu Bassey of the University of Calabar, Mr. Andy Ehinare, Director of Ogba Zoo, Benin city and former National Vice President of Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN) South South, Chief Stephen Isokariari, travel expert and managing director of Dial Travel Bureau Ltd, Port Harcourt and Mr. Usen Udoh, Pioneer Chairman of Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Akwa Ibom State Chapter.
Others are Kelvin Efiok Otung, media expert, Mr. Felix Ohwobevughe, Head, Department of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-uku, and Mr. Akanimo Sampson, Editor of The Southern Examiner online publication
In another development, media experts in Uyo have expressed their desire to support the incoming administration of Pastor Umo Bassey Eno of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying there is prospects of accelerated human and infrastructural development with Pastor Umo Eno on the driver’s seat.
In a chat with Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo in Uyo, at the weekend, Editor of The Southern Examiner online publication, Mr. Akanimo Sampson and the General Manager of Inspiration FM, Uyo, Mr. Sam Enobong Akpan commended the governor-elect for his vision and foresight in introducing the “Ibom Happy Hour”, describing it as a new domestic tourism offering worthy of emulation by others.
The inaugural meeting of the South South Tourism Roundtable Steering Committee which comes up within April is a preparatory event towards the official inauguration of its substantive executive committee in Uyo in May, 2023.