The Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi, has said that the greatest misfortune that has ever befallen Nigeria as a nation was the discovery of oil and gas.
Ogunwusi said this late on Friday during a courtesy visit by the National Executive of Nigeria Tour Operators to the Ooni’s palace in Ile-Ife.
The executive members were led by Mrs Bilikisu Abdul, NATOP’s President.
The traditional ruler said that Nigerians had failed to develop the tourism potential in the country due to the discovery of crude oil.
He said that Nigerians had also forgotten that every nation’s tourism potential was inexhaustible compared to its oil and gas that has a life span.
“As a nation, our biggest problem has been discovering oil; we have different tourism products rich in content which are nature-based. Tourism is not exhaustible but oil is.
“It is important for us to propagate domestic tourism, it is the future of the country and that is the way things can get better.
“We should encourage people to travel within the confines of the nation. We should focus on the things that nature has blessed us with.
“Tourism is something I am very passionate about, I don’t joke with it so let us all collectively groom it together,” he said.
The Ooni of Ife also in his responses to requests made earlier by the leaders of the groups under NATOP assured them of his royal support.