President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the upgrading of the Marhai Forest Reserve, in Wamba Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, into a national park.
The conservator-general of National Park Services, Ibrahim Musa Goni, disclosed this when he paid a courtesy call on the Nasarawa State governor, Engr.Abdullahi Sule, today, April 26, 2021, at the Government House.
According to him, the president approved the upgrade of the forest reserve alongside nine others across the country out of the 23 earlier requested.
It would be recalled that the Nasarawa State government, in 2013, alongside other 22 states, requested for the upgrading of the Marhai forest reserve, which led to the president’s approval to the upgrading of 10 forest reserves across the country.
Goni explained that the approval came with a presidential directive for the National Park Services to engage the benefiting states with a view to setting up modalities for the smooth handing and taking over of the new national parks.
He added that the NPS is also mandated to liaise with the state’s ministry of justice, with a view to producing an executive bill to be sent before the national assembly, seeking to amend the National Park Act, to accommodate the ten new national parks.
He further requested for the immediate setting up of a transition committee, involving representatives from the state government, to fine-tune modalities for the handing over of the Marhai Forest Reserve to the NPS.
In his response, the governor thanked President Buhari for approving the recommendation of the NPS establishing the 10 new national parks.
According to the governor, since inception, his administration has been promoting the Farin Ruwa tourism potentials, with the state government constructing the 15-km Sisin Baki/ Farin Ruwa road to open up the area.
Sule equally appreciated the NPS for its recommendations and for recognizing these hidden assets belonging to the country that were left to fallow.
“Since this administration came in, we have been doing everything possible to promote that park.
“We have invited a lot of personalities, including a delegation led by the Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, to come and project the park,” he added.