From Mfon Ekefre, Uyo
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Akwa Ibom State has urged its staff, especially the zonal officers, to be responsive to their responsibilities or risk being replaced by those willing to show commitment to work.
Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr. Edwin Enene, issued the warning during an interactive session with the staff of the ministry.
He said the interactive session was designed to familiarise himself with them and also know their challenges on the field.
He said one of the ministry’s core responsibilities was to create jobs for the teeming youths and also serve as alternative source of income for the state.
He reminded them that they were foot soldiers of the ministry and as such should discover and explore the enormous tourism sites, art works and potential cultural festivals to attract attention and create the expected revenue to the state.
Three heads of directorate of culture, art and tourism – Messrs John Offiong, Emmanuel Unung and Godwin Eyedok, described the zonal officers as foot soldiers taking arts, culture and tourism to the grassroots level.
John Offiong on his part highlighted the challenges of accommodation, describing it as a hindrance to the effective execution of their work.
Mr. Godwin Enyedok harped on the need for tourism officers to create an impactful awareness of potential tourist sites to attract attention to the public and therefore generate revenue for the state.
He expressed the need to collaborate with local government chairmen for effective grassroots mobilization in the zones and appealed to the government to invest money to revive the dilapidated tourist sites.
A cultural officer representing Ibeno Office, Mfon Esanga, suggested the profiling of cultural sites, documentation of future and follow up plans, adding that these will give help in the actualization of the rich potential of the state in the culture and tourism sector.
In reaction to the various contributions by heads of the directorate, the Permanent Secretary, Sir Marcus, said in order to get the required money to invest in these sites, government must see concrete evidence and subject it for security.
He thanked the zonal officers for responding well to meeting, believing that they will adhere very strictly to the issues discussed and agreed upon in the meeting.