NLNG’s sponsored Finima Nature Park in Bonny (credit: Finima Park)
*Organises two-week intensive and hands-on training on tourism business and entrepreneurship for some Bonny youths
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas Limited NLNG company has said it is making progress in its efforts to make Bonny Island, its operational base, a tourist haven as part of its Bonny-Dubai vision.
As part of the vision, the multi-billion naira company just completed a two-week intensive and hands-on training on tourism business and entrepreneurship for some youths in Bonny community conducted in partnership with Goge Africa.
NLNG’s General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Mrs. Eyono Fatayi-Williams was quoted in a statement signed by Sophia Horsfall Manager, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs of the company as saying that through the training, the youths have been equipped with skills that will enable them to function as tour guides and champions of tourism, especially in the areas of cultural and eco-tourism.
The trainees were also taught on how to use existing tourist attractions/landmarks to promote the tourism potentials of Bonny Island.
She also said the trainees are expected to create and drive businesses that will draw tourists to the Island.
According to her, the capacity-building initiative would deliver dividends in the future when the Company’s vision of Bonny-Dubai would have become a reality.
“The Bonny-Dubai Vision is a strategic development intervention by NLNG that seeks to make Bonny a major international investment destination by the year 2040. We aim to diversify the Island’s economy, especially with Bonny’s rich potential from its unique history, culture, and traditions, from reliance on oil and gas activities to other areas such as tourism.
“To make this goal a reality, we are currently finalizing the Bonny Tourism Masterplan, which will detail the step-by-step activities that will bring the vision alive. These activities include: the deepening of eco-tourism at the Finima Nature Park and alignment with Bonny Kingdom and community stakeholders. Other activities include; engagements with community, local and foreign investors on tourism opportunities in Bonny and the rebuilding of the Bonny Consulate building, a significant landmark that will serve as the hub for tourist activities on the Island,” Mrs Fatayi-Williams said.
She added that NLNG intends to create a tribe of committed Bonny ambassadors who will market Bonny to the outside world while expressing confidence in the ability of Goge Africa to provide the needed experience and expertise to encourage innovation and maximise Bonny’s existing opportunities.
Bonny Island, a historical trade hub in Rivers State, is home to NLNG’s sponsored Finima Nature Park, a 1,000 hectares land of freshwater swamp forest. The park was designated an internationally acclaimed centre for Wetland Education and became a Wetlands Link International member in 2019.
NLNG is owned by four Shareholders, namely, the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (49%), Shell Gas B.V. (25.6%), Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France (15%), and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l (10.4%).