Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, has disclosed that plans have been concluded to boost the state’s economy and promote the culture and history of people of the Bayelsa through tourism.
He said that by modernising different festivals across the state to world standards such that would attract tourists across the country and beyond, local economy would be boosted and the globe would get to know more about the state’s peculiar culture.
He said that by attracting local and foreign tourists, the state would be put on world map and its culture would be known in Nigeria and other countries of the world and that it would attract foreign direct investments into the
He stated this at the opening of the Great Efi Lake Fishing Festival at Sabagreia community in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state.
Diri described the festival as an event with great potential to scale up the economy of the state.
The governor directed the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to include the festival in the state’s cultural calendar.
He commended the people of Sabagreia, Seibokorugha and Okoloba communities for sustaining the age-old traditional festival, urging them to make it an event to attract local and foreign tourists to the state.
Diri said, “I believe that these are the events that will promote our history and culture. As a government, we will ensure we have our own tourism activities celebrated not only by this state but in this nation and, even, internationally.
“l, therefore, call on the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Iti Orugbani, to include this festival and other such important events in our cultural calendar. This is not just a local festival, as it has the potential to attract tourists into Bayelsa.
“Events such as this promote tourism, our history and culture. I’m really happy to see this large number of people from Kolokuma-Opokuma, from other parts of the state and beyond.’’
According to him, if the event is celebrated every four years, it will attract a lot of good things to the state.
Earlier, the Chairman of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, Chief Dengiye Ubarugu, appreciated the governor for his presence and support toward this year’s festival.
Ubarugu noted that this year’s festival had given the event the required government attention. The highpoint of the festival was that the governor paddled a canoe into the lake and he caught some fishes.