The government of Enugu State, Nigeria is making a conscious effort to transform the Southeast state into an important tourist destination, and this may have begun, with the development of a multimillion naira project known as Gburugburu Dining and Wining in the sky.
The Guardian gathered that the project, said to be a pioneer of sorts in Africa, is in partnership with a Foreign-based multinational, Fordmatts. It would include Sky revolving restaurant, Air ride, Glass Sky Walk, Nature Resort and Housing Estate and would be completed in eight months.
The project is said to have been borne out of the near non-existence of tourist attractions in the state and where any exists have been valuing eroded by more modern attractions in other parts of the country, adding that dearth of tourism had discouraged investment in Enugu state.
“It is, therefore, intended to make Enugu state regain and supersede its original reputation as a tourist destination in Africa, attracting tourist from all around the world and would reenergize certain moribund facilities in the state including the yet to be completed International Conference Centre and the Hotel Presidential,” a source said.
It was learnt that a team from Fordmatts had already concluded preliminary study around some of the areas designated for the projects, including the Miliken Hills in Ngwo and Unity Park in Independence layout, axis and arrived at the choice of the Unity Park.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, whose pet name “Gburugburu” is affixed to the project, is said to have given his approval, after watching a slide presentation by a team of officials from the organization, but rejected the housing estate, adding that the project would showcase the state “as not only a peaceful state but from Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) also tell a lot about the peaceful deposition and hospitality of the Enugu people.”
The source told The Guardian, “It will inevitably attract investors thereby boosting the economy of the state and creating a multiplier effect. Very importantly, this project will be one formidable legacy that the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi will leave to the people of Enugu state.”
According to a document obtained by The Guardian, the Sky revolving restaurant would be a 360-degree revolving restaurant located on top of the tower, adding that the tracks along which the tower moves would allow dinners to eat and drink while enjoying the unrestricted view of the city from the sky at a height above 40 meters.
“The gburugburu Air ride is a ropeway of approximately 721 meters in total length and connects the rotating restaurant. It is speedy and very safe. Passengers can enjoy the city scenery overlooking the forest park. It is quick, convenient and shortens access time greatly,” it said.
It added that the Glass skywalk would stand in the valley, adding that its plank road would be built around the mountains, while its surfaces would be covered with ultra-large single transparent glass, using tempered glass with a transmittance of 96 degrees, strolling in the plank road when the smoke and rain are filled.
“If you walk in the clouds, it is like an illusion; when the weather is fine and sunny, it is thrilling. The glass walkway is located on the right side of the hotel, facing cities. Walking on the plank road, you can look up at the sky and touch the clouds and can overlook the rain forest valley hundred meters deep. Looking ahead, you will enjoy strolling through the clouds in addition to fear”, it added.
The prototype of the Nature resort is based on the flying birds, adding, “it is the centre of the mountain top, symbolizing freedom and destination.”
The document said Nature’s resort would attract high profile investors, adding that the status of the Enugu airport would be a huge advantage to investors who would access the state with ease.
Governor Ugwuanyi said the beauty in the venture was that it would once again; put back to use some moribund facilities in the state. He added that the state was ready to provide whatever was needed to assist the investors, adding that it would fully make use of facilities of the Hotel presidential and International Conference Centre in addition to the provision of jobs and revenue boost to the state.
“When we are done, we would have re-launched Enugu back to its rightful place in southeast, Nigeria and Africa as a whole,” he said.