Imo State government is set to revamp monuments and tourist sites and places of interest in the state.
The state commissioner for Tourism, Mazi Uche Ohia disclosed this when a delegation of Owerri Community Assembly led by the President General, Chief Felix Ngoka paid him a courtesy visit in his office.
He described the state governor, Senator Hope Uzodimma as a tourism and heritage-friendly person who is committed to the transformation of Imo State into a tourism destination.
Ohia stated that Governor Uzodimma has shown political will to grow tourism as a pivotal sector in which Imo State has comparative advantage in tandem with the need for diversification.
According to him, this is the reason the Uzodimma administration was prioritizing security, provision of quality infrastructure and human capital development.
The commissioner stated that Gov. Uzodinma would restore all heritage sites in Owerri same way he has restored Ekeukwu Owerre Market destroyed by the Rochas Okorocha administration.
He reiterated the administration’s preparedness to revolutionize the tourism industry in partnership with the private sector and in collaboration with communities with a view to raising visitor traffic to the state by at least 20% to further stimulate the local economy.
He urged Owerri Community Assembly to ensure that Oru Owerri Festival should no longer be celebrated as a local festival, rather it should be repackaged in line with international standards to attract tourists to Owerri.
He maintained that as a celebration of peace and love, Oru Owerre Festival and similar events together with ancient and sacred places and monuments in Owerri should be preserved.
Earlier, the spokesman of Owerri Community, Chief Chidi Nkwopara, congratulated the commissioner on his appointment and commended Governor Uzodimma for choosing a capable person to serve as helmsman of the ministry.
Chief Nkwopara stated that any assessment of Imo State begins with the state capital which is the first point of call of most visitors to the state.
He pointed out that, being a microcosm of Imo State, Owerri provides a bird’s eye view of the rest of the state to every visitor.
He commended Gov. Uzodinma for the quality road construction with drainages, the reconstruction of roundabouts and activation of traffic lights which has greatly enhanced free flow of traffic and management of the tense security situation in the state.
He requested that cherished monuments and tourist sites in Owerri destroyed by past administration be rebuilt to actualize the vision of the state governor on tourism.
Chief Nkwopara explained that the main purpose of the visit was to invite the State Governor and the State Ministry of Tourism to the ancient Oru Owerre Festival.