From all indications,
eco-tourism in Nigeria is bound to receive a remarkable boost with the establishment of the Royal Golf Course and Nature Park in Dutse, the capital of Jigawa State.
The golf course and nature park, which is located about three kilometres from Dutse, is the brainchild of the Emir of Dutse, Alhaji Muhammadu Sunusi.
Tourism experts say that the nature park would boost efforts to promote ecotourism in the country and stem travels to famous ecotourism destinations in countries like South Africa, Kenya and Tanzania.
They describe nature park as a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation, while providing special opportunities for sightseeing, study or research.
As regards the Royal Golf Course and Nature Park in Dutse, Sunusi said that that it was established as part of his designed efforts to develop Jigawa State and boost the country’s tourism potential.
Observers describe the emir’s decision to set up the golf course and nature park as very pragmatic, as tourists from all over the country now come to the park, either to play golf or have a good time.
Even people from countries like Niger Republic, Mali, Chad, Cameroon, Benin Republic and Ghana now visit the park for vacation, they add.
Sunusi said that the Royal Golf Course and Nature Park is a natural environment which consists of a golf course, a nature park and an amusement garden.
He explained that the nature park is home to a variety of wildlife and aquaculture.
“The wild animals in the park include spring duck, deer, camel, antelope and ostrich, while the aquatic creatures include crocodile and different species of fish, among others,’’ he adds.
Sunusi also said that the golf course has a network of roads which traverse the entire area.
The emir concedes that he once had some problems in getting adequate water to make the golf course to remain lush all year round, adding that this compelled him to construct earth dams around the course.
“The idea here is simple; if the dams could trap and harvest rainwater at least twice a year, there would be enough water to water the course for a whole year,’’ he says, adding: “And the arrangement is working quite fine.’’
The emir says that 42 earth dams were constructed in the entire area to provide water for the animals and the vegetation throughout the year.
He says that eight boreholes were also constructed in the area to provide additional water for the flora and fauna.
He says that over 60,000 species of trees were planted in the golf course and nature park, which covers a total area of 120 hectares of land, fully fenced.
On the golf course, Sunusi said that it has 18 holes — the international standard — with “putting greens’’ (luxuriant green carpet-grass) planted on it.
He disclosed that plans are underway to construct additional nine holes to complement the existing 18 holes of the golf course, adding that the extra holes would make it one of the biggest golf courses in the world.
The emir says that the golf course and nature park has 22 permanent workers and 40 casual workers working in various departments.
He expatiates that the park also has a standard club house, with reception, cafeteria and changing rooms as well as a banquet hall.
Sunusi, however, says that there plans to build a first-class hotel and a theme park for tourists in the park.
He also said that plans are underway to establish a Golf Academy to train young people who are aspiring to become professional golfers.
He, nonetheless, solicits the collaboration of the Nigerian Tourism Development Commission (NTDC) and other stakeholders in efforts to boost the tourism potential of the area and attract investors.
Sunusi explained that Jigawa State is endowed with a lot of tourism resources that have yet to tapped, adding that the favorable weather conditions of the state will also aid efforts to transform the state into a good tourist destination.
All the same, analysts underscore the need for all stakeholders in the tourism sector to encourage all innovative plans to develop the vast tourism resources of the country.
They also emphasise that pragmatic efforts should be made to specifically encourage investors like the Emir of Dutse, who are striving to develop the ecotourism sub-sector of the country’s tourism industry.
Aiteo Cup: Diri Hails Bayelsa Finalists
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has lauded the feat of the state-owned football teams who reached the finals in the male and female categories of the 2021 Aiteo Cup.
Diri, while congratulating Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens for their outstanding performances, praised their indomitable spirit and resilience in surmounting the odds to qualify for the last stage of Nigeria’s oldest football competition.
Bayelsa United, who plays in the second tier Nigerian National League, on Friday defeated Premier League neighbours Rivers United 1-0 in the semi-finals, while Bayelsa Queens crushed perennial rivals Rivers Angels 5-0 to reach the women’s final.
The Governor, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Daniel Alabrah, on Saturday, described Bayelsa United as “giant killers” for defeating Premier League sides Enugu Rangers, Lobi Stars and Rivers United on their way to the final.
“The excellent run of Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens in this year’s Aiteo Cup is very heartwarming. Both teams reaching the finals is no mean feat. I congratulate them for making the state proud and setting a record of teams from the state playing in the finals of the male and female categories of the same competition for the first time,” Diri stated.
“By their outstanding performance, Bayelsa United and Bayelsa Queens have shown that the sporting revolution of our Prosperity Administration, which resulted in Bayelsa placing third in the last National Sports Festival in Edo State for the first time, is on course. I therefore urge them to complete their excellent run in the competition by bringing home the trophies.
D’Tigress To Play Mozambique In Afrobasket
Nigeria’s senior basketball team, D’Tigress, have been drawn to face Mozambique and a yet to qualify team in Group B of the 2021 Women’s Afrobasket, which holds from September 17 to 27 in Yaounde, Cameroon.
The draw was held in Yaounde last Saturday.
D’Tigress will be hoping to retain the title they won two years ago in Senegal, where they defeated the hosts in the final. A win in Cameroon will mean they have won the last three editions of the tournament.
The Nigerians will know their final group opponent when the FIBA Zone 6 qualifiers take place from August 16 to 22.
In Group A, hosts Cameroon will face Cape Verde and Kenya, while Senegal, the most successful team in the competition’s history with 11 first-place finishes, will slug it out with Egypt and Gabon in Group C.
Mali, Ivory Coast, and a team to be decided via wild card will fight for a slot in the next round in Group D.
Ebonyi Football Fans Celebrate Nwankwo Kanu At 45
Football fans in Ebonyi State yesterday, celebrated the birthday of formerNigerian international and Arsenal legend, Nwankwo Kanu.
The former Super Eagles skipper turned 45 yesterday.
Tidespoets source gathered that the 1993 FIFA U-17 world cup winner, fondly called “Papillo’’ by his fans had 86 caps for Nigeria.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale Football Club of Owerri’s talisman scored 13 goals for Nigeria in an enviable career that spanned from 1994 to 2010.
Kanu is a recipient of the Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), an Olympic Games football gold medalist and had illustrious club careers with Ajax Amsterdam of Holland, Arsenal and West Bromwich Albion of England.
Defunct Ebonyi Angels FC of Abakaliki Defender, James Onele, said that Kanu thrilled soccer fans across the world with sublime skills and trademark passes.
“Kanu won two African Footballer of the Year awards, an AFCON silver medal, four AFCON bronze medals among other honours.
“He was the first Nigerian, alongside Finidi George to win the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy with Ajax in 1995,” said Onele.
An Arsenal FC supporter, Ejike Okoro, said the club’s fans were proud of Kanu’s achievements during his time with the English Premier League side.
“Kanu played 197 times for Arsenal, scoring 44 goals and was part of the club’s invincible team that did not lose any match in the 2003-04 EPL season.
“He was instrumental in endearing Arsenal to millions of Nigerian soccer fans, despite later dropping to lowly-rated clubs such as Portsmouth and West Bromwich Albion,” Okoro said.
A banker and football enthusiast, Chief Barry Ogoh, told active footballers to emulate Papillo in investing adequately for the ‘rainy day’.
“Kanu, Augustine J.J. Okocha, among other ex-internationals are still financially stable as many ex-internationals have become bankrupt.
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