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Akwa Ibom government plans rehabilitation of tourism sites

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The Akwa Ibom State government has concluded plans to rehabilitate tourist centres in the state through aggressive sensitisation of the citizens and investors.

Commissioner for Tourism, Orman Esin, stated this while interacting with newsmen in Uyo yesterday, maintaining that the sensitisation programme would be followed with development and expansion of the tourism sites in the state.

He said the last Christmas Carnival, in 2018, attracted over 1.5 million visitors to the Christmas Village in Uyo, the state capital. Esin explained that the state government had concluded arrangements to expand and rehabilitate the Ibom Plaza and Unity Park, noting that the facilities have witnessed low patronage in recent times.

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He bemoaned the deteriorating condition of the plaza and increase in criminal activities at the facility, saying his ministry would soon submit a memorandum to the State Executive Council on the expansion and renovation of the plaza.

The commissioner added that removal of illegal traders from the plaza would be done in a way that would not destroy the businesses and income of those who ply their trade there.

He said perimeter fencing of the Unity Park remained a priority with a view to providing security and ensuring the safety of tourists with the aim of seeking private investors for the tourist centres.

Esin also pointed out that the Ibom LeMeridian Hotels had witnessed a boost with the new management, as it remitted N200m to the state government as annual profit for the first time since its inception.

On the annual Christmas carnival, Esin maintained that although the event had been successful in recent times, government was being cautious due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the #EndSARS protests in the country and would soon take a decision on the matter.

The Guardian recalled that former Governor Obong Victor Attah, who initiated and built the facilities had charged the state government to sanitise the plaza and develop the Unity Park, which houses the Ibibio Museum and where the history and cultural artifacts of Akwa Ibom peoples was being safeguarded.

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