Increasing Delta State’s Viability Through Public Private Partnerships in Tourism: Being a welcome address to Sir Dan Okenyi, The Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism on his visit to Falcorp Mangrove Park, Ijala Ikenren on Thursday 1st June, 2017.
Permanent Secretary, Min. of Culture and Tourism
General Manager, Delta State Tourism Board
Other Principal Officers here present
Members of the Press Here Present
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
It is with utmost pleasure that we welcome the Hon. Commissioner who is saddled with the huge responsibility of driving one of the most dynamic sector – Tourism and Hospitality of our State’s development to Falcorp Mangrove Park.
Hon. Commissioner, Sir, it is on record that since Falcorp Mangrove Park was officially opened to the public in December 2007 which is ten years this year, it has fulfilled its mandate as a place for excursion, tourism, research, entrepreneurial development and relaxation. On research for example, Falcorp Mangrove Park uniquely situated within three ecological environment zones; mangrove swamp, rain forest and natural shrubs, has played host to research students from University of Lagos, Ibadan, Benin, Delta State university etc. amongst numerous individuals locally and internationally.
As a listed destination, your ministry and associated organs like the Delta State Tourism Board and Ministry of Information have continually showcased the park at all fronts including numerous newspapers and television documentaries. We are indeed grateful.
Sir, the burden however, of keeping the Park in a state to gain continuous patronage of enthusiastic visitors has been enormous as you would observe shortly as you go around. To stay afloat, the Pak requires a minimum of N500,000 monthly for salaries, civil maintenance and animals upkeep. The promise of the erstwhile Hon. Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Mofe Damijo when he visited the Park on 31st January, 2015 that the Ministry would consider a “joint partnership arrangement” did not materialize even though he gave his widow’s mite in assistance.
The Park, also sitting on one of the historic and ancient Delta’s Community – Ijala, where Olu of Warri berthed, lived, regained, died and was buried around 1510 AD remains one of the fastest developing enclave as it houses not only the Warri Kingdom Royal cemetery where all demised Olus of Warri Kingdom are buried but the Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company Jetty, Industrial facilities and numerous Tank Farms.
His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, the Olu of Warri who is the Chairman, Board of Trustee of Coastal and Marine Areas Development Initiative – the NGO that ‘manages the Park’, graciously donated his late father’s (Olu Erejuwa II, 1954-1987) 1945 Old mobile car to be refurbished and added to the Park’s Royal Museum collections.
Hon. Commissioner, Sir, I need not bore you with the importance of one of Delta State’s priceless resources; mangroves, as I had already done that at the Delta State Economic and Investment Summit commemorating the 25th Anniversary celebration of Delta State, endowed with countless criss-crossing mangrove swamps, creeks and coastline of beaches, can well become a main Eco-tourism haven with photo safaris and bird watching excursions that could boost our internally generated revenue in line with Delta State’s Beyond Oil dream.
In achieving this, riding on the crest of a Public Private Partnership is a sure route to take and we at Falcorp Mangrove Park is well positioned in this regard and shall be forever grateful if we are signed on board with your esteemed Ministry as Lagos State is doing with the Lekki Conservation Centre.
Thank you. Do have a happy tour of the Park and safe journey back to Asaba.
Henry A. Erikowa
Chief Operating Officer
June 1st, 2017
#Tourism #Culture #Sustainability #Environment #Partnership #Treeplanting #Warri #DeltaState #Development