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Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Wike’ll rebrand Port Harcourt as Garden city —Tonye Briggs Oniyide ,written by Wale Ojo Lanre

Wale Ojo Lanre with
1 hrLagos
Wike’ll rebrand Port Harcourt as Garden city —Tonye Briggs Oniyide
Written by: wale Ojo Lanre , Nigerian Tribune ,January 13, 2016
The lost glory of Port Harcourt as the Beautiful Garden City in Nigeria will once again shine as the Governor of Rivers State, Mr Nyesom Wike is poised at ensuring the planting and fitting of the necessary facilities and infrastructures needed to restore the glorious days of the city.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Mrs Tonye Briggs Oniyide who made this disclosure in Lagos during an interview session with tourism and culture journalists said that Governor Wike was determined to restore the glory of Port – Harcourt as a lovely city desired by tourists and cherished by the indigenes.
“The Governor, who cherished the old days in Rivers State and witnessed the glorious era when Port Harcourt was the pride of the country has decided and determined to turn Port Harcourt to a destination desired by all and scrambled to by tourists”.
She pointed out “As you will notice that from the very first week he was sworn into office, Governor Wike has commenced a sequential and progressive urban renewal of Port Harcourt and the opening of intra- roads to ease the traffic”.
Mrs Tonye Oniyide disclosed “as a Governor of the people, he knows where the shoe pinches. He understands the needs of the masses. He thinks about them and has his plan of bettering their lives without inflicting pains in the process. He is of the solid belief that if Port Harcourt is renewed as a city, if substantial value is added to its trappings, if its beauty is enhanced as a tourists destination, the people will not only reap from its tourism potentialities, but benefit from the largesse of investors”.
She disclosed “Port Harcourt will witness a phenomenal turn around the urban renewal project, road construction, provision of infrastructure and facilities, road construction and expansion, restoration and upliftment of gardens and creating new ones.
The commissioner revealed “Governor Wike who understands the import of tourism to the economy of a given state and realising the enormous tourism potentialities in Rivers State has structured all the developmental projects in alignment with enhancing the growth and development of the tourism sector”.
Mrs Oniyide pointed out “The tourism vision of Governor Wike is to turn Rivers State which is the treasure base of the nation into tourism paradise of the nation. It is not going to be a mono –focal attention on a single product. But a vision which has been horned to enhance the tourism assets which the state is blessed with in terms of culture, festivals, dances, foods, beaches, parks and gardens, monuments, museums, slave trade route, forest, colonial relics, all these will be packaged to stoke the economy, empower the youths and mobilise wealth”.
She assured “Governor Wike’s tourism vision will be a clear departure from the past where efforts were geared on a particular product at the expense of other equally viable tourism assets. It is a vision which will take tourism from the level of sheer entertainment, dancing and fun to a super platform of sustainable employment generation, empowerment of the youth and wealth creation for the state”.
Mrs Oniyide disclosed that the Rivers State government having realised that tourism is private sector-driven would involve the stakeholders and carry them along in the vision of getting the best out of tourism for the people.
“The Vision is for the development of the state, the society and the people. Central to this are the various stakeholders who are going to be the drivers of the vision. My ministry will not only collaborate with the tourism stakeholders in the state, but establish a profitable and rewarding synergy of purpose beneficial to all with them”.
She hinted “Tourism activities in the state are going to be upbeat according to the desire and determination of Governor Wike whose interest is to see that the common man on the street benefit from the opportunities which tourism will create. It is not going to be business as usual, but tourism business unusual”
The Commissioner revealed “I assure you that with the agrarian determination of Governor Wike at seeing that Rivers State tourism potentialities are harnessed and enhanced, within a couple of months, the state will become a force to be reckoned with, respected and scrambled at by tourists and lover of development just because of the phenomenon transformation it will witness via tourism”.
Mrs Oniyide called on the citizens of the state to gird their loins in support of Governor Wike who she described as “tourism-minded person who will deliver many of our employable youths in the employment market from the pains of unemployment through tourism. For by the time the tourism vision of Governor Wike evolves, germinates and blossoms, we shall all be happy that a pro-people governor passed through the state.”