Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, said his administration is ready to partner with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), in order to develop the tourism potentials of the state.
Engineer Sule stated this while hosting the North Central Zone Coordinator of the NTDC, Nanna D. Yakubu, at the Government House, on Wednesday.
The governor said his administration is particularly interested in going into a public private partnership, with the government willing to provide the infrastructure, as well as support investors who are ready to run such ventures as businesses.
Engineer Sule particularly showed interest in partnering with the NTDC to exploit the tourism potentials of salt villages, through film production.
To this end, the governor directed the NTDC to liaise with the Commissioner for Information, Tourism and Culture, Hon. Dogo Shammah, towards fine tuning arrangement for film producers to shoot films in especially salt villages in Keana.
Engineer Sule equally expressed determination of his administration to evolve an annual national cultural festival, aimed at exploiting the diverse cultural potentials of Nasarawa State.
The governor recalled the recent visit by the Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, with a view to showcasing the tourism potentials of the state internationally.
He expressed hope that the NTDC will share its experience with representatives of the state government, to further enhance their ability to showcase the tourism potentials of the state.
Earlier, the NTDC North Central Zone Coordinator, Nanna D. Yakubu, who stood in for the Director General of the agency, said the were in the state seeking to rebrand the tourism assets of Nasarawa State, by making them economically viable, while promoting the rich, unique cultural contents, to attract both domestic and international tourists.
The NTDC coordinator, identified some key tourist attractions in Nasarawa State to include, the Farin Ruwa Water Falls, Doma Dam, Captain Maloney Hill, Mada/Eggon Hills, the Keana/Awe salt villages, as well as the state’s rich cultural festivals, which could be included in the national calendar of festivals, to attract both tourists and investors to the state.
She disclosed that already, filmmakers, African Film Institute, a Pan African organisation for cultural innovation and education, has shown interest in shooting a film in the salt village, because of its originality and historical heritage, especially that Nasarawa State has indicated interest by proposing a film village.
The NTDC commended the governor for the ongoing construction of motorable road to Farin Ruwa Water Falls, which will further open up the attractions, construction of recreation centre in Shani, the state of the art rice mill in Nasarawa that will boost small holder rice production and also provide opportunities for jobs in rural areas and the relative peace being enjoyed in the state that will boost tourism development.