The Niger government is working out a deal with a Canadian based tourism investor to develop Gurara waterfalls, Mr Jonathan Vatsa, the Commissioner of Information, Culture and Tourism, has said.
Vatsa made the statement on Wednesday at an event held at Gurara waterfalls in Gurara local government area to mark World Tourism Day.
“We are partnering with foreign agencies to promote and boost tourism; we have not fully harnessed our tourism potentials in the state.
“The tourism potential of Gurara falls alone will create over 2, 000 jobs to our teeming youths and boost internally generated revenue.
“The plan is for the Canadian investor to develop and operate the Waterfalls, make their money and return the site to government after a given period,” he said.
Vatsa said that Mohammed Sani-Abu, the developer and promoter of Festival of Africa and Caribbean Culture (FESTACC), had opened talks with the government to invest in the tourism sector of the state.
He said that another tourism industry from South African had also indicated interest to partner with the government to develop the falls and other tourism sites in the state.
The commissioner added that the developers had agreed to use local content and employ youths from the local communities around the sites.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, Sani-Abu described Gurara Waterfalls as “a national asset capable generating huge revenue for the state if properly harnessed.’’
He said that when the site is fully developed, thousands of jobs would be created in such areas as security, game reserves, casinos, agriculture and hotels.
He said: “my vision is to transfer what I have seen in North America in terms of tourism sites to Niger state
“There are many sites that look exactly like Gurara falls in North America that have been fully developed to become world tourist destinations.
“For now, the Gurara falls is money wasting away.
“The state government needs to know that it can actually make lots of money, generate employment and promote the arts and culture of the people by utilizing its potentials,” he said.
Sani-Abu pledged to utilise his 35 years’ experience in tourism promotion and development to make the project a success.