OrderPaperToday– President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, has urged federal government, through its ministries and agencies, as well as corporate bodies, to partner Yobe State Government on the Mauyi Ganga fishing and cultural festival.

This, according to him, would reinforce the country’s diversification from oil plan.

He made the call at an event that held in River Alkamaram, Mauyi Ganga, Yobe State.

The event, which featured colourful cultural display, was attended by dignitaries including the Yobe State governor, Mai Mala Buni, notable traditional rulers led by Emir of Bade, Mai Suleiman Abubakar and citizens from within and outside the state.

Lawan, in statement released by his special assistant (Press), Ezrel Tabiowo on Monday, spoke on prospects and benefits of the fishing and cultural festival which he noted is capable of developing Nigeria’s tourism potential, provide employment and create wealth for citizens of Yobe State.

“We (President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration and the All Progressives Congress) are trying to ensure that we diversify the economy through the promotion of agriculture, solid minerals development and tourism.

“In Yobe State, we are also trying to explore opportunities. The Mauyi Ganga annual fishing and cultural festivals is a very old event.

“Unfortunately, in 1993 or thereabout, the festivities stopped due to some reason, and now that we are pushing for diversification, the government of Yobe and indeed the people of Bade emirate decided that we should revive this and vitalise the event for the benefit of our people, in addition to sustaining our culture.

“The fishing festival is an additional way of getting revenue for our people, creating employment opportunities and wealth, and of course for our state, it is going to be beneficial for revenue generation in the form of the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),” Lawan said.

On partnership, the Senate president said: “We want to ensure that we partner and do not limit the annual event to our state only. Next year we hope to explore the possibility of partnering with federal government agencies, corporate bodies and individual who have the desire and drive to support this kind of thing.

“We are not going to be begging for support, we are going to be asking for partnership and cooperation that everybody at the end of the day should be a winner.

“I’m sure the agencies would like to participate here because this is an effort the federal government is supposed to encourage to ensure that we create job opportunities for our people and create wealth.

“So, I’m sure there will be agencies that would come to partner with us like the Tourism board and Ministry of Information. We have to graduate from national support to international participation, though ambitious, but we want to take one step at a time.”

He continued: “Next year’s event will be better than this year because what we did was to only kick-start it.

“I’m sure that we have seen some of the loopholes that we have to attend to, so as to ensure that of next year is bigger and better, even though I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people that turned up.

“The turn-up was huge, and I believe we have to do everything possible to sustain the enthusiasm and desire of people to see that the annual event continues.”