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Oyo State to partner FTAN on tourism promotion, investment drive

By Maria Diamond
23 July 2022   |   4:06 am
The Special Adviser on Tourism to Oyo State governor, Ademola Ige, has announced plan by the government to partner with the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) to actualise the tourism agenda of Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration.

Founder of the Twin Festival, Taiwo Oguntoye (left); Osun State FTAN Coordinator, Dr. Adetokunbo Dagunduro; NANTA VP, South West, Otunba Tunde Adesokan; National P.R.O of FTAN and Oyo Coordinator, Wale Olapade; the host and Special Adviser on Tourism to governor of Oyo State, Chief Ademola Ige; FTAN VP, South West, Mr Tunde Kolade; Ondo State Coordinator, Erelu Funmi Rotiba; Adetoyese Adeoye; CEO of T.B.S. International, Captain Emmanuel Lordsgreat Oluwatobi, and Kehinde Oguntoye of Twins Festival during the visit.

Federation Advocate For Stand-Alone Tourism Ministry, Seeks Board Membership

The Special Adviser on Tourism to Oyo State governor, Ademola Ige, has announced plan by the government to partner with the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) to actualise the tourism agenda of Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration.

Ige made the announcement during FTAN’s courtesy visit to the state with a request for inclusion of the federation’s members in the state tourism board.

According to him, the collaboration is a strategy to make the state’s tourism alliance bring about rapid results. He also said that the collaboration was necessary as it would provide opportunity for core stakeholders and experts on tourism advisory to share ideas that will guide the government to actualise its tourism goals for the benefit of the state.

Ige, who was elated by the visit, said it was indeed timely as it came when the state was preparing for the 2022 World Tourism Day celebration slated for September 27.

“The World Tourism Day is a special day set aside by the state to celebrate and promote the rich tourism potentials with which the Oyo State is blessed. Since the inception of our World Tourism Day celebration, we have been making it a point of duty to carry the private sector along, especially members of FTAN. We have visited so many places together, promoting our main mission and focus,” the governor’s aide said.

He noted that although tourism development in Oyo is still a work in progress, the state has huge tourism resources that can boost its economy if there is more investment in the area of private and strategic collaborations.

The special adviser further drew inference from the speeches of the Vice President, South West of FTAN, Mr. Tunde Kolade and Mr. Tokunbo Dagunduro who emphasised the need for a stand-alone culture and tourism ministry to give the industry a pragmatic voice. Ige said a stand-alone ministry for tourism would have structural and visible attention to make a difference in the state economy.

“It is true that we must separate culture and tourism from the Ministry of Information to make it a full fledged ministry so that it can take care of its core and allied tourism sectors with all other value chains of the industry getting the right attention.

“We know that tourism in some states has a separate ministry and things are working well for them, but that has not been operational here in Oyo State. We are also looking in that direction, but you know there must be a legislation to make that a reality. The House of Assembly has the jurisdiction, it will work towards putting necessary law in place. They have to visit the laws establishing that sector and amend it to include advocacy for a standalone ministry for culture and tourism in the state,” Ige explained.

In his remarks, Oyo State Coordinator of FTAN, Mr. Wale Olapade, who spoke with great optimism, stressed the need for a public and private sector alliance to effectively promote and strategically position the state as the pacesetter in tourism development.

Olapade also urged the state to see FTAN as a partner in progress in the agenda to give tourism its rightful pace as a money-spinner and job creation avenue to boost the economic vision of Governor Mankinde. He reminded the state of its place in the nation’s tourism ranking, noting that Oyo has different tangible and intangible potential as well as manmade and natural tourism sites to give it a standout place.

The state coordinator admonished Governor Makinde’s administration to set the ball rolling by using what Oyo has to position the state globally. According to him, the Ado Awaye suspended lake, which is ranked the second in the world, is actually the first. It is really the only natural site of such in the world. He described the western stereotype of naming a manmade suspended lake in Colorado, USA as the first as a wrong narrative.

Olapade called on Oyo State to take its rightful place by telling its story by itself.

“Our story is better told by us because it is our abode and it is not foreign to us. Why should others rank us second when naturally we are first and the record is there for everyone to see and crosscheck,” he queried.

The Vice President, FTAN, South West, Mr. Tunde Kolade commended the leadership style of Governor Makinde, whom he said had systemically given a soft landing to the tourism value chain industry through different positive developments in different sectors. He also advocated a standalone tourism ministry to give the industry an enviable voice in the state.

Kolade said that the purpose of the visit was to express desire to partner with the government for promotion of the tourism sector and to use their practical experiences as core industry stakeholders to meet mind with the state government on workable tourism projections and programmes that will not only be economic but also people-driven.

He also sought the state’s collaboration in the maiden edition of the federation’s regional festival, explaining that it would be the first of its kind. He noted that since Oyo State is a pacesetter in all ramifications, FTAN South West sees it as the rightful place to set the tone for the event.

Also, the FTAN Coordinator for Osun State, Dr. Tokunbo Dagunduro, commended the SA tourism for his down-to-earth devotion to the promotion of tourism, but noted that much cannot be achieved with his portfolio without the creation of a separate tourism and culture ministry.

The Ondo State Coordinator for FTAN, Erelu Funmi Rotiba, said the SA on Tourism to Makinde had on different occasions, rallied support for promotion of different tourism sites in Oyo State.

Rotiba said there were a lot of things Oyo State has to offer to the world if the tourism sector is well coordinated. He called on the state to form an alliance with FTAN to build a formidable private and public sector partnership that will bring about a new narrative in the promotion of tourism economy in the state.