The Assistant Conservator-General of the National Park Service, Dr Agboola Okeyoyin, says the park is set to reduce the negative effects of climate change in the country.
Okeyoyin said this on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, at Lafia, Nasarawa State, during the sensitisation on the establishment of the 10 new national parks and inauguration of the 18-man transition committee for the take-off of Marhai National Park.
He said the Federal Government was committed to resolve conservation activities and to increase the amount of forest cover under protective management.
“Government is also committed to improve internal security and ultimately reduce negative impacts of climate change in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and enhance socio-economic development of the nation.
“It is important to note that the essence of this Transition Technical Committee is to ensure the successful metamorphosis of the Marhai Forest Reserve into the Marhai National Park.
“This is in the bid to achieve the overall aims and objectives for which the national park is established.
“Before today, stakeholders of the 10 designated national parks have been engaging on how these parks can be transformed into world-class tourist attractions among other objectives,” Okeyoyin said.
He said that the National Park Service was fully aware of the devastating effects of unwholesome environmental practices and therefore was committed to checkmate them.
“To this end, the Service is fully committed to this transition process and believes that the committee being inaugurated today by Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State would do nothing but a very commendable job,” Okeyoyin said.
He commended the Nasarawa Commissioner for Environment, Mr Yakubu Kwanta, whom he said had been very helpful in ensuring that the designated park transited smoothly.
Okeyoyin lauded media practitioners for the positive role they played in the attainment of the upgrading of Marhai Forest Reserve to Marhai National Park.
In his speech, Governor Sule urged the committee and stakeholders in the environment sector to make tourism a priority saying that it could generate more employment and be a source of revenue to the state.
He said that the upgrading of the Marhai Forest Reserve to National Marhai Park was a welcome development to the state.
Sule said that the newly inaugurated committee to oversee the affairs of the park was carefully selected due to their doggedness in delivering efficient services to the people of the state.
He urged them to justify the confidence reposed in them by the state government by discharging their duties effectively.
Responding, the Chairman of the committee and commissioner, Kwanta commended the governor for inaugurating the 18-man committee to spur the state into tourism and economic development.
He said that in the history of the state, the event was a milestone.
“Out of the 10 newly acquired national parks in the country, Nasarawa State is taking the lead in a smooth transition of the handing over and taking over of the park,” Kwanta said.
He promised that the committee would do its best to preserve the legacy of the new park.
The 18-man committee was drawn from Ministry of Environment, civil society groups, stakeholders in the environment sector and the media.
By Abigael Joshua