From left, The courtesy visit has in attendance the, founder of the twin festival, Taiwo Oguntoye; Osun State Coordinator, Dr Adetokunbo Dagunduro, NANTA VP, South West, Otunba Tunde Adesokan; National P.R.O 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 a courtesy visit by FTAN South West Zone to Hon. Ige at state secretariat, Ibadan, Oyo State. recently.
•As federation advocate for stand alone tourism ministry, Seeks tourism board membership
The Special Adviser on Tourism to the Oyo State governor, Hon Ademola Ige has reassured the state’s determination to partner with the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, in order to actualise the tourism agenda of the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration of Oyo State.
Speaking during the visit, Hon Ige, who was elated at the seriousness of FTAN to collaborate with Oyo State Government on achieving its robust tourism agenda said the visit will be an effective mechanism to make the state’s tourism alliance bring rapid results.
He said the visit was indeed timely as it came when the state is preparing for the 2022 World Tourism Day Celebration slated for September 27. According to Ige “World Tourism Day is a special day set aside by the state to celebrate and promote the rich tourism potentialities the Oyo State is blessed with.
“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 the members of FTAN and some of the people here can attest to that fact as we have visited so many places together with the promotion as our main mission and focus.
Ige who visited that all is yet not grand when you talk of tourism development in the state said the state has a huge tourism resource that can boost the economy of the state if more is invested in the area of private and strategic collaborations.
The SA on Tourism to the Oyo State governor, who drew inference from the call by the Vice President, south west FTAN, Mr Tunde Kolade and MrTokunboDagunduro, who jointly emphasised on the need for a stand-alone state culture and tourism ministry to give the industry a pragmatic voice, saw it as a way for tourism to have a structural and visible attention to effectively 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 chain of the industry getting the right attention.
“We know 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 at that direction, but you know there must be a legislation to make that a reality and I think the house of assembly has that jurisdiction we will work towards that. They have to visit the laws establishing that sector and make amend to include advocacy for a standalone ministry for culture and tourism in the state.”
On the FTAN request for the inclusion of the federation members into the state tourism board, the Special Adviser to the governor on tourism said it necessary as this will give room for a round peg in a round hole where the core stakeholders (experts on tourism advisory) will be on ground to meet minds and share ideas that will guide the government to actualise tourism goals for the benefit of the state.
“All these grey areas you have highlighted have been taken into consideration and in turn I will see ways to discuss it with Governor Seyi Makinde and I assure you that government will look into the requests and get back to you on the state conclusion.”
Earlier, while setting the tone during the courtesy visit, the Oyo State Co-ordinator for FTAN, Mr Wale Olapade, who spoke with great optimism, highlighted the need for a public and private sector alliance to effectively promote and strategically position the state as the pace setter in tourism potentialities as well as creating avenue of mutual benefit for the federation and Oyo state government.
Olapade who said that there are more to collaboration than just the initial statement, called on 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 that boosts the economic bid of Governor Mankinde.
He reminded the state of the priority space Oyo state plays in the nation tourism ranking, adding that the state has different first in terms of tangible and intangible potential as well as manmade and natural tourism sites to give it a standout place and called for a new narrative to promote it.
He called on the administration of Governor Makinde to set the ball rolling by creating a new narative for the state by using what the state has to position the state globally, adding that Ado Awaye suspended lake which being tagged as second in the world, is the only natural site of such in the world while the western stereotype of naming a mademan suspended lake in Colarado, USA as the first is a wrong narrative, calling Oyo state to endeavor to take its rightful place by telling its story itself.
“our story is better told by us because it is our abode and it is not foreign to us so why should other rank us second when naturally we are first and the record is there for everyone to see and crosscheck’, the FTAN National PRO added.
Taking the baton from the state coordinator, the Vice President, FTAN, South West, Mr Tunde Kolade commended the leadership style of Governor Makinde, who has systemically given a soft landing to tourism value chain industry through different positive development in the transportation, road,aviation sector and other areas of economic interest. He also advocated a standalone tourism ministry to give tourism industry an enviable voice in the state.
He said that the purpose of the visit was to express desire to solicit partnership with the government for the promotion of tourism sector in the state so as to use their practical experience 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.
Kolade sought the state’s collaboration in the maiden edition of the federation flagship regional festival, explaining that it is the first of its kind and since Oyo State is a pacesetter in all ramifications, FTAN South West sees the state as the rightful place to set tone for the event.
The FTAN Coordinator for Osun State, Dr Tokunbo Dagunduro, who spoke of candour, commended the SA tourism to Governor Makinde for his down-to-earth devotion to the promotion tourism but said that much cannot be achieved with his portfolio and called for the creation of a separate tourism and culture ministry in Oyo State to effectively give the industry a pride of place in the state economic ecosystem.
Also speaking during the visit, the Ondo State Coordinator for FTAN, Erelu Funmi Rotiba, who commended Hon. Ige for his listening ears and practical commitment said the SA on Tourism to Governor Makinde has on different occasions, rallied support for deliberate visit to promote different tourism sites in Oyo State and sees his zeal as genuine as that of the governor in taking tourism to the next level.
Erelu Rotiba, who is also the Vice President Tourism, Industry, Nigeria. Africa, Asia Chamber of Commerce (AACC), said there are a lot of things Oyo State has to offer to the world if the tourism sector is well coordinated, calling on the state to form alliance with the FTAN to build a formidable private and public sector partnership that will bring a new narrative to the development and promotion tourism economy in the state.
“We need more involvement of the private sector in the tourism business of the state so that we can strategically package the state for a better tourists patronage in a way that it will positively tell the story in our own way.”
The courtesy visit has in attendance the FTAN VP, South West, Mr Tunde Kolade NANTA V P, South West, Otunba Tunde Adesokan, National P.R.O. FTAN and Oyo Coordinator, Wale Olapade, Ondo State Coordinator, Erelu Funmi Rotiba, Osun State Coordinator, Dr. Dagunduro Adetokunbo, founder of the twins festival, Taiwo and Kehinde Oguntoye, CEO of T.B.S. international, Captain Emmanuel Lordsgreat Oluwatobi, Adetoyese Adeoye and the host and Special Adviser on Tourism to governor of Oyo State, Chief AdemolaIge.