The Oyo State Government, over the weekend hosted tourism enthusiasts at the maiden edition of the Iyake Festival, saying it is intensifying efforts to create avenues to boost the tourism sector in the State.
Speaking at the Festival held at Ado-Awaye, the Honourable Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun said the State has identified over 167 tourist sites in the State, vowing that the state is ready to exhibit sites and prepare the state for tourists.
The Honourable Commissioner disclosed that the Ministry has embarked on the initiative to encourage Tourism as an alternative means of Internally Generated Revenue.
Olatunbosun stressed that the Ado-Awaye suspended lake and the Idere hill have been identified as the most visited tourist sites, noting that this had encouraged the State Government to look into the sector.
“Two of our tourist sites have been identified as part of the most visited sites in Nigeria. This is encouraging to us as a government. We therefore will not rest on our oars until we ensure our giftings and tourism potentials have been showcased for the world to see”, Olatunbosun said.
He added: “Under the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration, the Tourism sector is experiencing various visits. We hope to improve this as we keep promoting these potentials to the world”.
The Commissioner pointed out that the State Government has continued to encourage investors, adding that a Public private partnership plan would also help in the development of the sector.
He advised potential investors to come forward as the State Government is ready to collaborate with them in promoting the Tourism sector in Oyo State.
“The State Government will continue to ensure that investors are encouraged to come forward and invest in this sector. We have made roads accessible to this site and the State Government will not relent in doing this”, he asserted.
Earlier in his welcome remarks, the Alado of Ado-Awaye, HRM, Oba Olugbile Ademola Folakanmi stated that Ado-Awaye is a town with rich history.
He thanked the Oyo State Government for the support received so far, in promoting the town, Ado-awaye and its hidden potentials.
The Chairman Central Planning Committee of the Festival, Mr. Alade Bello emphasised the importance of tourism, adding that the sector is a goldmine the State has to explore.
He also extended warm regards to stakeholders who have contributed to the success of the festival.
The highlight of the festival was the exhibition by power-bikers from different countries across Africa, and the performance of dancing troupes.