The Anambra State Government says it is planning to go into partnership with foreign investors for the development of its tourism sector.
Mrs Sally Mbanefo, the state Commissioner for Indigenous Artworks, Diaspora Affairs, Culture and Tourism said this when she visited Owerre Ezukala Cave and Water Falls in Orumba South Local Government Area on Friday.
Mbanefo said the state government was set to put amenities in place at the UNESCO heritage site to make it a first place destination for tourists.
She said the facelift works at the site would be completed within the first 100 days of Gov. Willie Obiano’s second term in office.
She said that the funds for the project had been captured in the budget.
“We want to invite international investors to see the tourist potential we have to offer and partner them in developing them as natural tourist sites for hospitality and recreational facilities.
“We have the full support of the governor; he has shown his commitment to develop this sector.
“The governor is ready to support the sector with funds because it had been provided for in the budget.
“His Excellency has approved the construction of staircases in Owerre Ezukala; plans are already on top gear to conclude this within the first 100 days of his second term in office.
“So, we are drumming up awareness in the state and the country so that other people will know what we are doing and come here to enjoy themselves,” she said.
Chief Evans Ihesi, the Prime Minister of Owerre Ezukala, said the heritage site had suffered neglect from past administrations in the state.
He lauded the present administration for its renewed interest in developing the heritage site.
Ihesi said the existing infrastructure at the site were built by the foreigners before Nigeria gained independence in 1960.
He said that the community was willing to make land available to the government to enable it develop the place.
“This place has suffered neglect for a long time because past governors did not show interest in its redevelopment.
“We have had investors from Canada, Australia and Israel that showed interest in its development but government had promised to develop the place without fulfilling them.
“The community is ready to donate lands for the government to build anything but our major challenge is access road. The community is blessed with a lot of mineral.
“The white men built these streams and some facilities here as far back as in the 1950s but no further development have been added to it since then,” he said.