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23rd February, 2014.
Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi, Nigeria.

Bauchi, South Africa to partner on tourism

The South African Government is to partner with the Bauchi State Government to develop the tourism potential in the state, its High Commissioner in Nigeria, Lulu Mnguni, has said.

Mnguni announced this on Friday when he visited the state governor, Isa Yuguda, at the Government House, Bauchi.

He said he was in Bauchi to see how his country could partner with the state to develop the tourism sector of the state.

"The Yankari Game Reserve and Resort has huge tourist potential; we want to see how we can help you developed them to a world class resort to maximise it revenue generation.

"We will train your rangers on animal protection and management with a view to making them more efficient to carry out their tasks.

"We will invite our hoteliers to build big hotels around major tourist sites; we will equally train your workers on hospitality to meet global standards," he said.

Mnguni said that the objective was to make Bauchi State a quality tourist centre that would improve the quality of life of its citizens, and stressed the need to build on the long relationship between Nigeria and South Africa.

"I recall how the Nigeria Government in spite of its internal challenges had helped my country in its struggle against apartheid regime.

"Currently, African continent is faced with new challenges of poverty, hunger, unemployment, underdevelopment and marginalisation.

"As two strong African nations, Nigeria and South Africa must continue to work together in championing the development agenda of the African continent.

"We have the responsibility to pull our neighbours as we set on the path of development so that we can all develop together," he said.

Responding, Yuguda expressed his administration's readiness to partner with the South African Government to develop its tourism sector to its full potential.

"The Yankari Game Reserve and Resort has all the things tourists are looking for in a resort and in due time it will be complemented by our international airport.

"Going by your country's record in the area of tourism, I am confident that such partnership will turn the economic fortunes of Bauchi State around for good.

Yuguda said that the state was seeking an arrangement where South African experts and investors would invest and manage the Yankari Game Reserve.

"We equally want your investors in the hotel business to come and manage our Premier Hotel, and Zaranda Hotel for efficiency and optimal result,' he said.

Yuguda stated that the government was also interested in partnerships in the area of mining as solid minerals abound in commercial quantities in the state.

"We need your expertise in that aspect as well, especially in the area of training and capacity building to equip our miners with the needed expertise.

"The idea was to maximally exploit the full economic potential of solid mineral deposits in the state with a view to improve our revenue generation and provide employment opportunities for our teeming youths," Yuguda said.

Source: NAN

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