Cote d’ Ivoire to tap Akinboboye’s expertise for tourism development
President of Cote d’ Ivoire, Alhassan Qattara, has formally made a request to the Ondo State Governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko, to release Otunba Wanle Akinboboye, Special Adviser on Tourism, to help in the development of the country’s tourism sector. This request was delivered to Ondo State governor, Dr. Olusegun Mimiko by Cote d’ Ivoire’s envoy to Nigeria, Ambassador Toure Maman, during a visit in Akure. The envoy, who led a team of officials from the country’s embassy in Abuja to the Government House, Akure, was received by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Rotimi Adelola, who stood in for the governor.
According to the envoy, her country, which is noted for its agriculture and the largest producer of cocoa in Africa, is looking to diversifying its economy with focus on tourism as a veritable source. Following this development, she said the country last year signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the President of La Campagne Tropicana, Akinboboye, for the building of Africa-themed resorts (a replication of La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resorts) in different locations across the country.
Ambassador Maman who expressed delight at the tourism development in the state, said her president could not wait to have Akinboboye back in Cote d’ Voire, as everything was ready for the commencement of the resorts, adding that the project could not commence without the presence and input of Akinboboye who is expected to bring his wealth of experience and expertise in the realisation of the dream of the president and the people of Cote d’ Voire.
In his response, Adelola said the state government was pleased with the formal request for the release of one of its human resource specialists, particularly the recognition and confidence expressed by the country in the ability and expertise of Akinboboye to help develop that country’s tourism. According to the SSG, Nigeria and Cote d’ Voire had a rich and long history of cooperation and assured the envoy of the state government’s willingness to release Akinboboye as requested. He also made a counter offer soliciting for the assistance of Cote d’Voire in developing Ondo State’s agriculture, particularly its cocoa sector since the country was requesting for Akinboboye’s presence and expertise in developing its tourism.
Ambassador Maman said her country was willing to assist the state in the development and promotion of its agriculture. To this end, she said Cote d’ Voire could make the country’s largest cocoa region, Nawa, a twin-sister state of Ondo so as to fast track the latter’s cocoa sector.
Meanwhile, in his remark, Akinboboye welcomed the ambassador to the state, and stated his readiness to assist the country in the development of its tourism following the MoU he signed last year before he took up his present position.
Ondo State is blessed with abundant natural and human resources and is one of the oil producing states. Since coming into office, Mimiko has quietly engaged in revolutionarising tourism in the state through the development of a number of tourism projects and infrastructure across the state. These include the repackaging of MARE Festival, which holds yearly in Idanre town; the creation of the first ever tourism circuit; introduction of medical tourism through the building of a dedicated medical facility in Akure; rebuilding of Idanre Hills Resort, the first ever hill resort to be built in 90 days and the re-enactment of Idanre Ana and an international conference centre, the Dome in Akure, which is slated for opening this year.