Mr. Ademola Ige, Special Adviser on Tourism to Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State, reassured the state’s determination to partner with the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), for the promotion of tourism.
Ige said in a statement on Sunday that this was necessary to refresh the Makinde administration’s tourism program in the state.
The Special Adviser gave the assurance in Oyo State on Friday when FTAN delegates paid him a courtesy visit.
He said the visit was an effective mechanism for the state’s tourism alliance to bring quick results.
He noted that the visit was indeed timely as it came as the state prepared for the observance of World Tourism Day 2022 scheduled for September 27.
“World Tourism Day is a special day set aside by the state to celebrate and promote the rich tourism potential that Oyo State is blessed with.
“Since the beginning of our celebration of World Tourism Day, we have made it our duty to accompany the private sector, in particular the members of FTAN, with the promotion of tourism as our main mission and objective,” he said. declared.
Ige noted that the state has enormous tourism resources capable of boosting its economy if more is invested in the area of private and strategic collaborations.
Mr. Tunde Kolade, Coordinator of FTAN South West, stressed the need for an autonomous Ministry of Culture and Tourism to give the industry a pragmatic voice.
Kolade said this is the only way for tourism to have a structural and visible focus to effectively make a difference in the state’s economy.
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“It is true that we need to separate Culture and Tourism from the Ministry of Information, to make it a fully-fledged ministry so that it can take care of its main and related tourism sectors, all other value chains of the industry receiving the right attention.
“We know that tourism in some states has a separate ministry and things are working well for them, but it has not been operational here in Oyo State.
“But you know there needs to be legislation to make that a reality and I think the House of Assembly has that jurisdiction; we will work on it.
“They need to review the laws establishing this sector and make changes to include advocacy for an autonomous ministry of culture and tourism in the state,” he said.
Earlier, Oyo State Coordinator for FTAN, Mr. Wale Olapade, highlighted the need for an alliance of public and private sectors to effectively promote and strategically position the state as a pioneer in tourism potentialities .
Olapade also stressed the need to create avenues of mutual benefit for the federation and the government of Oyo State.
He said there was more to the collaborations than just the initial statement, urging the state to see FTAN as an ongoing partner.
He explained that this should be done with the aim of giving tourism its rightful place as a source of income and job creation that would boost Governor Makinde’s economic offer.
He noted that Oyo State’s Ado Awaye Hanging Lake, which had been labeled the world’s second largest, was the only such natural site in the world.
He said the Western stereotype of naming a man-made hanging lake in Colorado, USA as the former was a misguided narrative.
He, however, called on Oyo State to strive to take its rightful place in telling its own story.
“Our story is best told by us because it is our home and it is not foreign to us, so why should others rank us second when naturally we are first and the record is there for all the world can see it,” he said.