* Soon to unveil Bonny Tourism Master-Plan
* Concludes training of Bonny youths on tourism Business and Entrepreneurship
By Ignatius Chukwu
Thee is a dream to make Bonny Island in Rivers State to be like Dubai in the coming years. The NLNG is behind this scheme which has the buy-in of the monarch and other stakeholders in the island.
Bonny Island in Rivers State is soon to become a tourism destination with Dubai-modeling system anchored on a blue print soon to be unveiled by the Nigeria Liquefied Natutal Gas (NLNG) to drive the vision.
For a start, the NLNG (NLNG) just concluded the training of a group of Bonny youths that would become tour guides like it obtains in Dubai and most other tourism destinations in the world especially Israel.
The NLNG said through its NLNG’s General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatayi-Williams, that the company has already progressed its efforts to make Bonny Island, its operational base, a tourist haven as part of its Bonny-Dubai vision with the completion of a two-week intensive and hands-on training on tourism business and entrepreneurship for some Bonny youths in partnership with Goge Africa.
Fatayi-Williams said the training equipped the youths with skills to enable them function as tour guides and champions of tourism, especially in the areas of cultural and eco-tourism. The trainees will use existing tourist attractions/landmarks to promote the tourism potentials of Bonny Island.
The statement revealed that; “To make this goal a reality, we are currently finalizing the Bonny Tourism Masterplan, which will detail the step-by-step activities that will bring the vision alive. These activities include the deepening of eco-tourism at the Finima Nature Park and alignment with Bonny Kingdom and community stakeholders. Other activities include engagements with community, local and foreign investors on tourism opportunities in Bonny and the rebuilding of the Bonny Consulate building, a significant landmark that will serve as the hub for tourist activities on the Island,” she stated.
Fatayi-Williams added that NLNG intends to create a tribe of committed Bonny ambassadors who will market Bonny to the outside world. She expressed confidence in the ability of Goge Africa to provide the needed experience and expertise to encourage innovation and maximise Bonny’s existing opportunities.
She said the trainees were expected to create and drive businesses that would draw tourists to the Island. She remarked that the capacity-building initiative would deliver dividends in the future when the Company’s vision of Bonny-Dubai would have become a reality.
“The Bonny-Dubai Vision is a strategic development intervention by NLNG that seeks to make Bonny a major international investment destination by the year 2040. We aim to diversify the Island’s economy, especially with Bonny’s rich potential from its unique history, culture, and traditions, from reliance on oil and gas activities to other areas such as tourism.
Bonny Island, a historical trade hub in Rivers State, is home to NLNG’s sponsored Finima Nature Park, a 1,000 hectares land of freshwater swamp forest. The park was designated an internationally acclaimed centre for Wetland Education and became a Wetlands Link International member in 2019.
NLNG is owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas B.V (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l (10.4%).