Anambra State government has marked the tomb of Blessed Father Cyprian Iwene-Tansi’s in Aguleri as a religious site that would be developed into a major tourist attraction in the state.
Mrs Sally Mbanefo, Commissioner for Indigenous Art Works, Diaspora Affairs, Culture and Tourism in Anambra has said the government was determined to make the tourism industry a revenue spinner for the state, and the tomb is one of the favoured sites.
Mbanefo who has been on tour of the potential tourism sites said the Blessed Iwene Tansi tomb and Obu Gad, the historical origin of the Igbo people in Aguleri, Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra would be made tourists destinations.
The former Director General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) said she would use her experience in the tourism industry to activate and turnaround the tourism potentials of Anambra.
She said the tourism sector in Anambra had the potential to drive the economy of the state, just as tourism has the potential to drive the economy of any nation adding that her tour of the various tourism sites in the state was to enable her have first hand information of what Anambra was endowed with in the sector.
The Obu Gad site believed to be where, Eri, the ancestor of Igbo settled which had already been acclaimed an international tourism site would be made a world class tourist’s destination.
“We are going to make sure that the tomb of Blessed Iwene Tansi is turned into a religious tourism site.
“Tourism is the greatest employer of labour and it contributes alot to GDP of other countries of the world.
“So my vision here is to use my wealth experience to make Anambra center of Tourism in Nigeria,” she said.
Similarly the Commissioner said the facelift works at the Owerre Ezukala Cave and Water Falls in Orumba South Local Government Area would be completed within the first 100 days of Gov. Willie Obiano’s second term.
She said the state government was extending invitation of partnership to foreign investors in the development of tourism sector of the state.
“We want to invite international community for them to see what we have to offer and then we can partner with them in developing these natural tourist sites, in terms of building hospitality and recreational facilities.
“We have the full support of the governor; he has shown commitment in the growth of this sector and he is ready to back up our plans with finances because it has been provided for in the budget.
“His Excellency governor has approved the construction of staircases in Owerre Ezukala, plans are already at top gear because we want to conclude this within the first 100 days.
“So we are drumming up awareness in the state and the country so others people will know what we are doing and come here to enjoy themselves,” she said.
Igwe Chukwuemeka Eri, the traditional ruler of Enugu-Aguleri, who received the commissioner to the ancient town congratulated her on her appointment and expressed confidence that she had the technocracy to revamp the sector.
Chukwuemeka Eri urged the state government to promote the Aguve Tree otherwise known as Trinity Tree by documenting all the historical evidences of its mysterious nature and stores behind it and Obu Gad.
He also urged Gov. Willie Obiano to make good his promise to construct the roads leading to the site to enhance access so as to alleviate the suffering of the people in the area.