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National Park Service takes over Plateau’s Pandam Game Reserve

by Christiana Gokyo, Jos

The Conservator-General and Chief Executive Officer of the National Park Service, Dr. Ibrahim Musa Goni, has assured the Plateau State Government that, the takeover of the Pandam Game Reserve in Quan’pan Local Government Area of the State will lead to “enormous development” of tourism, security and economic opportunities for the people.

The Conservator-General disclosed this when he paid a visit to the state governor, Simon Lalong, recently, to brief him on the approval for the Federal Government’s takeover of the Pandam Game Reserve by President Muhammadu Buhari to become a National Park.

According to him, the application by Plateau State Government for the takeover of the park and its upgrade into a National Park has been pending since 2012, and after due analysis and recommendation, the President approved it out of the many applications from many States.

He said when the takeover is completed, all staffs of the Park, who wish to join the National Park Service, will be absorbed. In addition, he said, the security of the Park will be enhanced with technology and more personnel.

“More infrastructures will also be provided for the Park to boost tourism and enhance its fortunes through international funding such as the Green Fund.”

He said jobs will be created to the host community, who will benefit from activities in and around the Park.

Responding, Governor Simon Lalong expressed appreciation to President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the takeover of the Pandam Game Reserve among the 10 recently granted approvals out of the over 100 applications from various States.

He said the assurances by the Conservator-General are affirmative, as the lack of information has fueled unfounded anxiety by some people, who think the State is losing the Park.

This, according to him, is not correct, as the State is rather going to gain by having federal interventions that will make the Park more viable, safe and secure.

The governor added that, apart from improving the value of the Park, there is going to be better security of the reserve, which has in recent times become a hideout for criminals.

He asked the Conservator-General and his team to visit Plateau State immediately for further interface with key stakeholders towards the smooth takeover of the Park.

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