Facilitator of the South-South Tourism Roundtable Initiative, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has lauded the Rotary Club Uyo, District 9142, for conferring the Distinguished Service Award in Peace-building and Community Development, on
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Pastor Umo Bassey Eno, and the “Exceptional Achievement Award” on renowned conservationist, Prof. Edem Eniang of the University of Uyo, respectively.
Reacting to the recent conferment on the two illustrious sons of Akwa Ibom State, Dr. Kiyaramo, while playing host to the chairman of Akwa Ibom Tourism and Hospitality Practitioners’ Association (AKTHOPA), Mr. Usen Udoh in his office in Yenagoa, capital city of Bayelsa State, eulogized Pastor Umo Eno, describing him as an empathetic leader with sharp leadership skills.
Dr. Kiyaramo, who doubles as Senior Special Assistant to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Tourism, maintained that examplary leaders usually assist others to become better persons by reconnecting them to their constituents, saying that the “Exceptional Achievement Award” conferred on Professor Edem Eniang at the official installation of Rtn. Dr. Comfort Udobang as 40th President of the Rotary Club Uyo, District 9142, on July 15, 2023, was well deserved.
According to Dr. Kiyaramo, Prof. Eniang’s passion for wildlife and environmental conservation prompted him to convert his private residence to a Wildlife Conservation Education Center in Uyo, the first of such facility in Akwa Ibom State, where members of the public, particularly students go to learn about biodiversity conservations, targeted at threatened wildlife species and habitats.
“Prof. Eniang, a member of the steering committee of the South-South Tourism Roundtable, is a talented and passionate wildlife conservationist, international environmental management consultant and team leader, who is highly motivated and driven to succeed within challenging environments.
“In 2017, the then Hon. Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril, now His Royal Highness, Emir of Nasarawa, personally handed over 600 live animals including 145 venomous snakes, which were seized by men of the Nigeria Customs and Excise Department, to Prof. Eniang, in a public event at Calabar, to keep in trust for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“His outstanding career performance has earned him numerous international awards. In the course of his lifelong pursuits of endangered species conservation research in Nigeria, Prof. Eniang has rediscovered the Preuss’s Red Colobus Monkey (Procolobus badius preussi) in the year 2000, which was presumed to be extinct in Nigeria since 1980 and the Flying lizard (Halaspis guentheri) in 2015 that was last seen in Nigeria in 1968 and presumed to be extinct in Nigeria.
“The global naming of his newly discovered West African Zebra Gecko in his honour as Hemidactylus eniangii in 2010 by international scientists working in the University of California Berkeley, USA became the icing on the cake of his extraordinary passion driven wildlife conservation career.
“Between 2012 to date, Prof. Eniang has discovered within Nigeria, eleven (11) new animals including two (2) Culubrid snakes, two (2) Eel species, one (1) Amphibian and six (6) Forest Gecko species all yet to be classified by science”, Dr. Kiyaramo said.
Also commenting on the awards, chairman, Akwa Ibom Tourism and Hospitality Practitioners’ Association (AKTHOPA), Mr. Usen Udoh noted that Professor Edem Eniang, a rare gem in biodiversity conservation, with particular interest in wildlife/eco-tourism, is an efficient and effective academic of international repute in wildlife resources management with over twenty-five years’ experience in teaching, research, training, counseling, advocacy and community service with national and international organizations, which wealth of knowledge has produced over 100 publications to his credit in highly reputed national and international journals.
He said Prof. Eniang has so much to offer in the development of ecological/eco-tourism in Akwa Ibom State.
The AKTHOPA chairman maintained that Akwa Ibom people were confident that Governor Umo Bassey Eno and his able deputy, Sen. Akon Eyakenyi were determined to take Akwa Ibom State, the “Land of Promise” to greater heights where all citizens, irrespective of political affiliations, religion, ethnicities and cultural diversities will live as one united indivisible family under Akwa Abasi Ibom in the golden era administration.
Mr. Udoh, the pioneer chairman of the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), Akwa Ibom State, said the new administration under Pastor Umo Eno, christened ‘Golden Era’ has since hit the ground running with the ‘ARISE Agenda” having its mantra as “Arise together,” informing that the primary goal of the golden era administration was geared towards harnessing the tourism potentials of the state with a view to enhancing the appeal and offerings of Akwa Ibom as a preferred destination in country.
While reiterating the obvious fact that large numbers of different types of events were hosted in the state to attract visitors to Uyo and other cities, Mr. Udoh added that with such great number of events being planned to be hosted annually in Uyo, successive governments have been conscious of the urgent need to improve on the tourism infrastructures, while building capacity of the human resource to drive the tourism sector in line with global best practices to satisfy needs of tourists.
It will be recalled that Akwa Ibom State governor, Pastor Umo Eno holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the University of Uyo and Master of Science Degree in Public Administration and currently pursuing a Doctor of Philosophy, Ph.D in Public Administration all at University of Uyo.
Pastor Umo Eno also has several certifications from national and international institutions, including, Certificate in Development of Tourism in Small Islands and Sub-Sharan Africa, Seychelles, Certificate in Effective Negotiations Strategy, United Kingdom and certificate in Strategic Marketing Course in the UK, among others.
While Prof. Eniang holds a Bachelor of Agriculture in Forestry and Wildlife Management from the University of Uyo, M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Wildlife Resources Management from the prestigious University of Ibadan in 1998 and 2004, respectively.
He started his career as a graduate assistant in the Department of Forestry and Natural
Environmental Management in the University of Uyo in 1995 and rose through the ranks to the enviable status of Professor in October 2015.