DG canvasses better allocations for national parks
He lamented that the facilities were currently in a deplorable state due to poor funding.
In an interview with The Guardian in Lagos, the DG decried government’s seeming indifference to better funding of the parks, hence the serious concern by stakeholders on their development.
He said: “When you look at the current budget of the seven national parks, you will really lament because they show how poorly funded they are.
The whole Federal Ministry of Environment is a poor cousin of the other ministries. What it gets is very small.
When the ministry gets the budget allocation, about the lowest among its peers, and then, you come to the national parks, some of them as big as 6,000 square kilometers, yet lack workers.
According to him, the workforce of the seven national parks is just a little above1,000. A development, he noted, was giving room for sharp practices.
“Those 1,000, if you put them in one national park, are not enough to stop poaching as well as hurting and environmental encroachment.
But this is what they can afford because of the pressure of funding not to talk of equipment,” he stated.
He regretted that the nation was not according ecotourism the deserved attention as it gets in South Africa, Kenya and other East Africa nations where it generates so much revenue.
Aminu-Kano bemoaned the security situation and poor infrastructure like roads, electricity and accommodation in the parks, which he said, have made many tourists to stay away from country.
“How many people now have interest to visit the national parks.
They do not generate much revenue again and do not equally get funds from their owners – the Federal Government.
It is now the individual and management of these facilities that are trying their best in the face of all odds.”
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