Nigeria Olympic Committee (NOC), president, Habu Gumel, has advised the Bauchi State Government to build modern sports facilities at the Yankari Resort and Safari to attract more tourists to the centre.
Gumel also advised the state to give adequate publicity to the resort, saying that the Yankari Safari, which ‘has some of the best collection of nature’s gift to humanity,’ can generate huge revenue for the state.
Speaking during the NOC’s annual general meeting at the Yankari Resort and Safari, Gumel said building a modern golf course and an indoor sports hall can bring tourists to the state, who will come to play their sports and at the same time enjoy nature’s gifts to Bauchi State.
According to Gumel, “the tiny Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius has two shuttle flight services each day from Dubai to the country. Each flight takes more than 400 passengers, who go there to savour nature.
“If you print brochures and distribute to all Nigerian embassies abroad, I want to tell you that in less than no time the Yankari Safari will start attracting visitors like other African tourist centres.”
Earlier, former international athlete, Falilat Ogunkoya, had suggested that Bauchi State could build a tartan track and camping facilities at the resort so that Nigerian athletes could use it as a camping site before major events.
She said: “The weather and the serene environment are conducive for any type of training one can think of. THIS PLACE IS CLOSE TO NATURE, has a warm water spring, 24 hour uninterrupted power supply and well-equipped hostels.
“Aside Nigeria, other countries can also use the resort as a training base if the facilities are added to the other existing ones.”
At the annual general meeting attended by sports federations’ presidents and other members of the committee, the NOC presented awards to the Bauchi State Governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar, the national U-17 team, and Apostle Hayford Alile for their contributions to Nigeria’s sports development.
Governor Abubakar, who was represented by his deputy, Nuhu Gidado, got the Olympic Sports Friendly Award, the Golden Eaglets were recognized with the Distinguished Youth Athlete Award, while Apostle Alile received the Merit Award on Promotion of Olympism.