A Nigerian lawmaker, representing Ibarapa Central North Federal Constituency in the lower chamber of the House of Representative, Hon. Muraina Ajibola has moved a motion on the need to recognise and develop Idere Hills, in Oyo State as an international tourism Centre.
Idere Hills is one of the latest tourist attractions in Oyo State. Idere Hills was recently commissioned as a tourist attraction site in Oyo in the year 2020. It is a historical mountain surrounded by a beautiful green landscape. This mountain has an interesting story dating back as far as over 600 years.
The Hon. While speaking on the floor of the house on notes that in 2019, the tourism industry contributed 10.4% of the global Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which decreased to 5.5% in 2020 due to the restrictions placed on global travels following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Muraina added that several African countries have developed thriving and sustainable tourism industries as may be seen in Morocco where the tourism industry contributed 18% of the country’s GDP in 2019.
According to him, in 2019, the tourism industry contributed $1.5 billion to Nigeria’s economy, which decreased due to the outbreak of covid-19 and the restrictions placed on international travels.
Muraina in his address to honourable members of the House of Repetitive prayed the house to:
(i) Urge the Federal Government to officially declare Idere Hills as an International Tourist Centre in Nigeria and develop it by providing good roads, lodging, hospitals and ancillary services for the comfort of tourists and the inhabitants who may require them;
(ii) Mandate the Committees on Culture and Tourism to ensure compliance and report back within four (4) weeks for further legislative action.
The motion was Seconded by Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, the Minority Leader of the House representing Aniocha/ Oshimili Federal Constituency, Delta State and Hon Linda Ikpeazu from Anambra State and the House unanimously adopted the motion.
According to him, Nigerian tourism industry remains relatively undeveloped despite the uniqueness, richness and diversity of Nigeria’s tourism resources.
He believes that the tourism industry in Nigeria has the potential of contributing much more to the economy, provided that the Federal Government, the 36 States Governments and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) put in place measures to harness the potentials of the numerous natural tourist attractions that abound in the country.
“Aware that Idere Hills situated in Idere town in Ibarapa Central Local Government Area of Oyo State, which is about a 2-hour drive from Ibadan, is gradually emerging as a new tourism centre as it has been attracting patronage from Local and International tourists.
“Idere Hills is endowed with about 14 natural attractions, among which are a suspended lake, unexploited caves, beautiful topography, unusually shaped rocks, friendly weather and a fortress and is blessed with several historic artefacts and archaeological materials which are yet to be studied and documented by the National Library and the National Museum;
“The inhabitants of Idere town and the adjoining settlements often organize annual carnivals, which attract visitors from all over the world and the Government of Oyo State has been promoting and developing Idere Hills as an emerging and thriving International tourism centre.
“Cognizant that if Idere Hills, is officially recognized and developed as an international tourism centre, the benefits to the country would be enormous, including protection of the environment, preservation of natural resources and conservation of wild life as well as preservation of the cultural heritage of the inhabitants, hence providing socio-economic benefits for the host communities, Oyo State and the country as a whole”.
Idere Hills is also listed as one of the top tourism destinations in Nigeria by Naija7wonders and its being promoted by Olugbenga Omotayo Sunday, CEO of TOJUM hospitality & Tours, and supported by Tourism 100 Club. He is also a member of the Tourism 100 club, an A-list of tourism promoters in Nigeria.