At Oguta lake

    In 2014, I commenced a self motivated, self sponsored trip across Nigeria, visiting and documenting tourist sites. Some people have called me names like 'Ajala-Travel' after the first Nigerian globe-trotter: Mashood Adisi Olabisi Ajala. Ajala have been described as Africa's greatest traveler, after he visited 87 countries in six years and mostly on his bicycle. A blogger, (www.bulkybon-periscopes.blogspot.com), recently described me as the "King of Tourism in Nigeria", in all things, I thank God Almighty. It has been capital intensive, doing the tour without sponsorships, considering the fact that I also run a free public Library and a free skill acquisition center for women, but I thank God for guidance, protection and love throughout my journeys. For me, tourism has an important place within the world economy and represents a basic branch in many countries with tourists locations. It is a known fact that the Christian pilgrimages to Israel and Islamic faithful pilgrims to Saudi Arabia have contributed to their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in those countries. If the government of Nigeria can invest in tourism, I am very convinced that it will improve our GDP a whole lot. My tour to 18 states so far covering: Abia State, Imo State, Anambra State, Rivers State, Kwara State, Ekiti State, Oyo State, Ondo State, Kogi State, Edo State, Delta State, Osun State, Ogun State, Zamfara State, Edo State, Lagos State, Enugu State, Taraba State and Abuja. In this essay, I am writing my experience about the states of Igbo-land.

    At Mbari Cultural center

    At Nakede Zoo

    Imo state's capital is Owerri. Owerri is surrounded by rivers – Otamiri River in the East and River Nworie in the South. Some of the tourist sites in Owerri include: Amusement Park Owerri; Asumpta Cathedral reputed to be the biggest Catholic Church in West Africa, fashioned in Italian architectural design; Amadioha Shrine - a mysterious shrine; Abadaba Lake Resort situated in Obowo LGA; Ngwu Spring Natural Water, known as Iyi Umugara a sparkling natural water in Nkwere LGA. Eze Silver Ibenyi Ugbala Ii Palace, Orlu - the palace is like a custodian of Igbo culture and tradition; Palm Beach Holiday Resort, Awo-Omama; Rolling Hills, Okigwe; Urashi River in Ezeama community in Dikenafai in Ideato-South LGA; Iyi Ogidi Spring in Ofeahia Amaifeke autonomous community in Orlu LGA; Iyi Okwu Spring in Okwuepe village in Ebenese Ihioma autonomous community in Orlu LGA; Edemili Lake with palm beach settings; Ekwe and Ebenator Springs. Others are Blue Obana Lake, Abadaba Lake, Ancestral Home of King Jaja of Opobo, Ahiajoku Festival.

    During my tour of Imo State: I visited Oguta Blue Lake, the largest natural lake in Imo State, the lake is of immense value to the people of Oguta, Orsu, Nkwesi and Awo. In the colonial era, the Oguta Lake was a port for the evacuation of palm products and the relics of the jetties used by the United African Company (U. A. C.) still exist today. Oguta Lake is the largest natural lake in Imo State, its origin is from a natural depression.

    At the National Museum Owerri

    I was also at the Amadioha Shrine the mysterious shrine. Then, at the 'Ada Palm Plantation Complex' established in 1974 that occupies about 4,310 hectares of land, with a housing estate, was one of the nation’s major sources of foreign exchange before the discovery of petroleum. My visit to the 'Mbari Cultural & Art Centre, Owerri' located at Ikenegbu in Central Owerri was an eye opener to the deplorable condition of tourism in the state. Some of the staff told me that the Cultural Center has been abandoned by government to survive on its own, despite the fact that it is housed by the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture. Mbari is an open air museum that houses monumental arts that depicts peace, prosperity and social life in Igbo land. I was also at the 'Nekede Zoo' the biological garden complex located at old Nekede in Owerri. The Zoo has stock of different animals ranging from Lions, Pythons, Monkey, Ostrich, Crocodile, Cattle Egret, Guerrilla, and different birds.

    Imo State  can make so much revenue from tourism if the state government set her priority right. This is the time to go back to the black board and correct it from where we got it wrong. This is the time to make Igbo-land a great nation. Imo State have a lot of tourist potentials that are yet to be enhanced and developed. We should consider the fact that tourism cannot survive without the development of infrastructural facilities. These infrastructure facilities provide the enabling environment for a thriving tourism. The provision of these facilities therefore, should be the focus of the sons and daughters of Igboland, we need more hotels and recreational parks to support whatever role government is playing.

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