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Abuja, Oct. 30, 2019:

Chairman of the Carnival Calabar Commission, Mr. Gabe Onah on Wednesday Oct. 30, 2019 paid a courtesy call on the Conservator-General of the National Park Service, Dr. Ibrahim Musa Goni in Abuja to discuss sustainable partnership with the Service for enhanced revenue, according to information reaching More Cream Than Coffee.

In his remark the Carnival Commission Chairman, said there is need to pluck the low hanging fruits within the two organisations in other to boost the tourism sector in Nigeria. Mr. Onah affirmed that no country is better off than Nigeria in tourism, if the appropriate bodies take the bull by the horn through harnessing the country’s tourism sites.

“Nigeria is heartily endowed with natural tourist sites, but it is challenging to know that the country hasn’t harnessed the sites to a brim, forgetting that this would serve as a means to generate revenue and contribute reasonable percentage in injecting of funds to the economy.

“However, this is one amidst other reasons why I think this collaboration is very necessary at this point in time,” he added.

Similarly, Hon. Kenn Aklah, the Senior Special Assistant on Events to the Cross River State Governor who was also part of the team said there is need for National Park Service to do more conservation by improving on the facilities that would attract tourists to spend more days than expected and in turn yielding more revenue for the sector and the government.

“It is high time the National Park Service looked inward and map out logical strategies that would attract revenue generation. This would in no small measure boost the tourism sector in Nigeria.”

In the same vein, the International Consultant of the Carnival Calabar, Ambassador Ikechi Uko said that the National Park Service should step up by doing all it can to re-brand the parks to bring the service to greater lime light.

“It is better we tell our story by ourselves rather than foreigners telling the story for us. We need to work on giving the Nigeria tourism sector a new face lift so that the story can be better told and that’s one other reason why we are here to soliciting for.”

Reacting to the Carnival Calabar team, the Conservator-General, Dr. Ibrahim Goni expressed delight in all that was said and pledged to support every objective move that will bring National Park Service to lime light and generate the expected returns on investment.

“It’s a great deal to have Nigerians as your team who have passion for their country’s tourism sector. I have listened to you all and be rest assured that this discussion would be critically looked into perhaps the tourism sector would indeed take a new dimension with this anticipated collaboration if really found worthy,” he expressed.

He said that the private sector will be encouraged to partner with National Park Service so as to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Source: Oru Leonard (Oru Media)

Ahead of the 2019 Carnival Calabar first official Dry Run scheduled for Sunday, October 20, 2019, a team of joint-stakeholders went on a recce of the approved routes for the event on Saturday, October 19, 2019.

The team comprised of members of the Carnival Commission, the International Carnival Consultant, some band leaders, security agencies, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Department of Public Transportation (DOPT) which has been given sole mandate to manage all the carnival routes; the Fire Service, and the media among others.

Chairman of the Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mr Gabe Onah who spoke alongside the Senior Special Adviser (Governors Office & Event Management), Hon. Ken Aklah stated that the purpose of the inspection was to establish in the minds of all the stakeholders, the consciousness of the new thinking of the Governor on Carnival Calabar 2019.

“The desire of His Excellency the Governor is to create new excitement and bring something new because as we break new grounds our competitors want to get to where we are.

“This is therefore a combine pre-route recce ahead of dry run tomorrow October 20, 2019 and we are doing this jointly because we want to introduce new things. The recce is to estimate how long it will take despite dancing and stopping on the street to calibrate on time spent which is essential for the carnival, the participants and the spectators.”

Continuing, Onah who sued for cooperation of all the stakeholders said there are newly introduced performance points around the traditional five adjudication points on the twelve kilometre carnival routes.

The Chairman informed that the Governor introduced these new performance points to bring more excitement on the roads in other to engage both the tourists and the spectators who in the past often had long waiting periods before the band procession arrived.

“Performance point one is LG office by Mary Slessor, while point two is from Mary Slessor to Marian by Barrack Road junction. Performance point three is at Governors Boot, point four is at Apples Fast food on Marian, while point five is at Channelview Hotels.

“DOPT has the sole right to man all the carnival routes. Some of these routes will be permanently locked down.” Mr. Onah declared.

The recce/inspection team had in attendance, representatives of the Carnival media partners, such as DStv, AIT, NTA, TVC and Aljazeera.

The Cross River State government has introduced fire fighting mechanism and safety measures to forestall destruction and guarantee the safety of lives and property during the 2019 Carnival Calabar, as preparations are in top gear for the first Dry Run of the global fiesta scheduled for Sunday October 20, 2019.

With an ever increasing global audience due to the steady growth of the month-long festival billed as “Africa’s Biggest Street Party,” Carnival Calabar has come a long way since 2004 when it was inaugurated and the need to improve on safety and safety-consciousness becomes increasingly crucial. This was pointed out by the International Consultant to the event, Mr Ikechi Uko who made it known during a recce and mapping up of the carnival routes on Saturday.

Citing recent fire disaster in Lagos and Onitsha, Ikechi Uko said there is a need for preparedness for control and the prevention of unexpected fire outbreak.

“Carnival Calabar has become a household name globally and our desire to introduce fire service is not restricted to fires in buildings alone, it includes safety to incidences, flood disasters as well as other natural and man-made disasters.

“Again that will include fire service in Carnival Calabar Safety apparatus shown that we are complying with the international best practices on Safety and Disaster management” he said.

Chairman of Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mr Gabe Onah said the awareness of the new development of fire service operating in full swing in the Carnival activities will commence immediately.

He used the opportunity to called on the Fire Service to partner the Commission on awareness campaigns to emphasize fire safety measures before, during and after the Carnival.

The Director of Cross River State fire service, Mr Don Ugbe who was part of the stakeholders meeting assured the readiness of his officers and men on enforcement, public enlightenment programmes and impact reduction during the exercise.