Plateau State to partner with South Africa on tourism

Timothy Choji, Abuja

In a bid to diversify the economy, Plateau State government, Central Nigeria, is set to partner with South African investors in developing its tourism sector.

The state Governor, Simon Bako Lalong stated this in an interview
with State House Correspondents after his visit with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

“I represent the Central zone at the Power Holding Company and the Vice President is our Chairman so I came to brief him on what we are doing. Then on my trip to South Africa, specifically it was about tourism. Plateau is the home of peace and tourism, we are sustaining the peace now and we want to revive and sustain tourism too. South Africa is one place that is well known for tourism so we went there to create partnership with them, we want them to come to Plateau and invest in tourism. We are rebuilding the Jos main market and in
addition to that we are also thinking if having so many shopping malls on the Plateau. This week some of the investors from South Africa are coming and we will possibly sign memorandums of understanding with some of them,”
the Governor said.

Conflict Management

Governor Lalong announced that the state had since established a Bureau for Conflict Management to sustain the peace existing in the state, a feat he said only Plateau has attained.

“Plateau is the only state that has not only sustained the peace but has also established a Bureau for Conflict Management. We are the only state that has done that. This is the first of its kind in the state. We have a Bureau for continuous settling of conflicts; in addition to that, we have invited a nongovernmental organisation, Humanitarian Dialogue, which is trying to ensure conflict resolution in the Southern part of Plateau. I have also made a request that they should also visit the Central zone of the state, we are not joking with matter of peace,” he said.

The Governor thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for appointing a son of the state, Mr Joseph Ari as the Director General of the Industrial Training Fund ITF.

“Yes, Plateau people are very happy about is appointment. Few months back, they were complaining that the state has not benefitted from the numerous appointments being made by the federal government but all of a sudden, the President decided to surprise us with that big appointment. We must say, we are very grateful to Mr President, although as Oliver Twist and politicians we are still asking for more and we have already made presentations for more appointments but this appointment will go a long way,” Governor Lalong stated.