By BOLUWAJI OBAHOPO
LOKOJA – Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State had flagged off the “LOKOJA PROJECT 160” aimed at developing its historical sites to further advance tourism and revenue generation.
The projects which is in collaboration with the National Institute of Architecture, NIA, is expected to gulp N600 million with two years timeline; will see 160 historical relics renovated, reconstructed or built newly.
Governor Bello while flagging – off the project said the state is ready to tap into its tourism potentials through partnership with foreign and local investors.
The governor who was represented at the occasion by the Secretary to the State Government, Dr. Ayoade Folashade, said the state is naturally blessed with rivers and historical relics that can be utilised to generate income, assured of government’s support for the realisation of the dream.
The governor said the Confluence State, being the centre of Nigeria has the potential of becoming the Federal Capital Territory in years ahead, called for collective efforts to achieve a modern society.
Bello said he has ordered for the demolition of all illegal structures at the Mount Party to pave way for modern architectural designs and assured of adequate security for tourist and prospective investors that will be engaged in the project.
National President of the institute, Arch. Tonye Braids said the project will bring a global focus to Lokoja not only because its the pioneer capital of Nigeria but in view of its historical and tourists abundance.
He also said the institutes had gotten the nod from the UN habitat towards the final outlook of the projects, said materials that will be used will reduce global warming.
He also said twenty out of the 160 relics will be renovated and completed before the end of the year while waiting for others to be handled by privates investors who had indicated strong interest already, said rooms are still open for other interested partnership.
“The projects, when completed will generate new attractions that will induced urban activities. Historical sites such as the First Primary School in Northern Nigeria, Luggard Guest house, Confluence Point, as well as the palaces of the paramount rulers across the three senatorial districts will be renovated.”
Braids expressed appreciation to the state government for supporting the institute and emphasized the need to respond to initiatives that will reduce global warming.
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