Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
Delta State Government is in the process of conducting a special talent hunt targeting youths in the state with gifts that are marketable and could contribute meaningfully to the tourism social sub-sector of the state.
The state commissioner, Culture and Tourism Directorate, Mr. Chinye Bazim Emmanuel, disclosed this while fielding questions from journalists in Asaba.
On the failure of the much-talked-about Delta State Wildlife Park canvassed by the ministry under former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan administration, the commissioner said that government has not given up on the different park projects.
Emmanuel explained that the numerous wildlife which Mr. Richard Mofe-Damijo, the then state tourism helmsman, claimed to have acquired with partners in Kenya did not arrive in the state before nor since the inception of the Okowa administration.
Under the arrangement, wildlife parks including a zoo were to be established in Ogwashi-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area as well as Olero in Udu Local Government Area of the state.
Nonetheless, the commissioner, who was flanked by his Information counterpart, Mr. Patrick Ukah, assured that the state was doing all within its power to develop all tourist potential in addition to the existing tourist sites across the state, adding that the recent senior athletics competition in Asaba presented another opportunity to showcase the cultural and tourism prowess of Delta State.
“The Directorate through the Development participated in the just concluded hosting of the 61st United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), African Region at Abuja 4-6 June, 2018, aimed at protecting the image of the country, Nigeria as a safe and desirable destination for leisure and also a unique opportunity to promote local tourism products and services,” Emmanuel said.
On the issue of lingering non-payment of local government salaries, the State Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr. Joyce Overah, said the state government has consistently augmented the salaries of the local government councils.
Some currently owe their workers as much as seven months’ salary arrears. However, four local government areas have really exited the recession trap of unpaid salaries.
However, the commissioner said his directorate has been proactive and has helped to avert conflict and industrial problems “through early/prompt disbursement of funds received from the federation account to the councils.”
This, he noted, has helped to forestall possible crises from “delay in disbursement of funds to local governments for workers’ salaries, wages and traditional rulers’ stipends.
It has, by this, laid good foundation for industrial harmony in the 25 local government councils.” The directorate has been complementing security efforts of the government through regular zonal security and intelligence gathering meetings through offices in Agbor, Warri and Ughelli.