Jigawa State has received a presidential approval from the Ministry of Environment for the upgrade of the Hadejia Wetlands Game Reserve to a National Park under the National Park Service Act of 1991.
Senator Ibrahim Hadejia (APC, Jigawa North East) received the approval on Tuesday from the Conservator General of the National Park Service, Ibrahim Musa Goni, on behalf of the Jigawa State Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar.
The National park, one of 10 approved nationwide covers an area of 320 km2 spread across Guri, Kirikasamma and Auyo local Governments, and when the bill for establishment is eventually passed by the National Assembly will fall under the funding, control and management of the National Park service.
Hadejia, a former deputy governor of Jigawa State, said the process has been ongoing since 2001 following an initiative by the then State Government to establish a bird observation post in Baturiya and tourist chalets in Lafiyari at the cost of about N36m which unfortunately was never funded.
“Various interest groups and individuals like the Hadejia Emirate Council, Hadejia Ina Mafita etc took up the cause and in 2012 the Sule Lamido administration also engaged the National Park Service for conversion of the reserve to a National Park and gave its consent for the takeover but once again funding constraints stalled the process.
“Eventually the Environment Ctee in the 9th Senate working with the NPS facilitated the sum of N500M in the 2021 budget for new parks take off and the Conservator General and the Hon. Minister for Environment did the rest. There will be a robust drive to get the support of the host states and international donor organizations and environmental support groups.
“Incidentally the area also falls within the Hadejia-Nguru -Bade Biosphere reserve approved by UNESCO in October 2020,” the senatot said.