Ekiti state government, through its Council for Arts and Culture in collaboration with Bureau of Labour , Employment and Productivity have promised to train young indigenes of the state in indigenous arts and crafts with a view of enhancing creativity, empowerment and reducing unemployment .
The DG Arts and Culture, Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre and Mr Lanre Ogunjobi, DG Bureau of Employment, Labour and Productivity disclosed this during their recent visit to the Onisan of Isan Ekiti, Oba Adejuwon Gabriel Ayodele in his palace.
Isan , the country home of Governor Kayode Fayemi is one of the towns in the country with highest number of skillful potters.
According to Ojo Lanre, “part of the mantra of the council is to resuscitate and promote the dying indigenous cottage industries as well as training the younger ones in the arts to prevent them from going into extinction.
“We have been to Ogotun Ekiti where we have mat weavers , today we are in Isan to see the pottery centre and we will go to Ara, Ipoti and other Ekiti communities with creative and indigenous industries to reinforce their sustainability and ensure their being embraced by this generation for economic development and posterity”
Also, in his own remarks, Mr Lanre Ogunjobi, Director General, Bureau of Employment, Labour and Productivity said the Bureau would train and facilitate soft loan through micro credit agencies to encourage women and younger ones in the business.
“ Part of Dr Kayode Fayemi’s vision is to uplift the lot of women and young people and one of the ways he wants to achieve this is to put in place sustainable projects that will reduce unemployment, empowers and generate revenue”, he said.
Responding, the Onisan of Isan, Oba Adejuwon Gabriel Ayodele said “Isan women are endowed with skillful potters who need support for mass production and marketing of products”.
The monarch, then urged the government to rebuild and upgrade the Isan pottery center which was built in 1985 during Late Mariam Babangida’s Better Life Programme and which the wife of the State Governor ,Erelu Bisi Fayemi was working upon during the first tenure of Dr Kayode Fayemi .
Ibadan 125 room-Irefin Palace to rival London’s Buckingham Palace, Oyo govt. boasts
Oyo State government has disclosed that the historical Irefin Palace in Ibadan has been positioned to rival the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom as the State has entered into agreement with private partners to promote notable tourist sites.
The State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun stated this recently while playing host to the Irefin Royal Family of Ibadan at his office.
The family held an historical significance of being the descendants of Oba Onirefin who built the biggest palace of 125 rooms in the history of Yorubaland, during his reign between 1912 to 1914.
Late Oba Onirefin was noted for his philanthropic efforts, especially in promotion of education as he was said to be the highest donor to the establishment of the popular Ibadan Grammar School where he donated 100 pounds and the land upon which the school was built.
Olatubosun boasted that the Seyi Makinde led government has turned away from the old style of neglecting tourism as a means of generating internal revenue and has adopted the public-private-partnership model to develop and promote major tourist sites in the State.
“We want to work with the Irefin Royal Family to bring more attention to the tourism potential of the palace and the significance of it to humanity, the palace is not just a structure, it symbolizes love, it symbolizes philanthropy.
“The late Oba Onirefin was a giver and lover of educational development, that is why the State government will support the family to promote the palace to be as famous as the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom, look at the number of people that troop to the U.K to see the palace among other sites, it will generate goodwill for the government and promote the tourism industry in the State.”
The leader of the family who doubled as the Coordinator of the Irefin Historical Palace Foundation, Prince Omokayode Ayinla Irefin said the family was happy with the stride of Oyo State government towards promoting the tourism sector in the State.
Omokayode said the Irefin Palace Heritage Tourism Development Foundation has entered into agreement with a foreign partner to train youths that are interested in tourism and send them abroad for the practical aspect of the job.
He, however called on other notable families in the State with historical potentials to emulate the Irefin Tourism foundation so as to diversify the State’s economy and gain more from foreign input into tourism.
Oyo govt. expresses readiness to partner investors for tourist sites development
Oyo State Commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatubosun has hinted that the state has tourism potentials that could yield enough income and also generate employment if private investors and corporate bodies could collaborate with the present administration to develop the tourism sites.
The commissioner who stated this during a courtesy visit by the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) to his office last last Monday, also added that the present government in the state was committed to partnering with groups, associations, corporate bodies and individuals who are into the development of culture and tourism potentials.
He said this was due to the fact that the state is blessed with diverse traditional elements and tourist sites which when utilised and harnessed, would attract investors, provide employment and increase the IGR of the state.
“It is no news that Oyo State possesses more traditional elements that always attract foreing and local interests as well as tourism sites that when, harnessed, will bring enough fund to the State and booster its IGR, countries like Israel, Kenya, Italy and others do not rely on petroleum to survive, they use tourism to drive revenue.
“We are replicating same in Oyo State and it shall be successful with conscious collaboration of corporate interests and organizational support for the government in the areas of revamping, redesigning and facelifting our major traditional programmes and tourist-attractive sites, Ado-Awaye suspended lake is one site that has no equal in Africa, even United Nations should show interest.
“Governor Seyi Makinde has shown great interest in building the tourism industry to become a revenue-generating sector in the State, that is a quality of a leader that sees into the future and sees potentials for solutions where others are lamenting,” he said.
The Commissioner further assured the association of the state’s readiness to partner with the them in promoting the culture and tourist potentials around while also working together to promote the activities of the association through the Ministry’s various media platforms.
In his remarks, the Vice President Southwest Zone of FTAN, Otunba Ayo Olumoko, who spoke on behalf of the team expressed profound gratitude for the warm reception they got from the Ministry, saying that the association has been in existence in the past 23 years and has chapters of the association in all the 36 states of the federation.
Olumoko said the purpose of the visit was to acquaint the state government, through the Ministry, of their efforts at sanitizing the tourism industry in Nigeria and put in place a structured executive body in each state to oversee its activities in line with the mandate of the association.
He promised a robust relationship with Oyo State government through the Ministry so that activities in the tourism sector would not be hijacked by miscreants.
CESDEV lauds Makinde’s vision on tourism, pledges support
The Directorate of Centre for Sustainable Development (CESDEV), University of Ibadan has commended the Oyo state governor, Engr Seyi Makinde for his ingenuity in using tourism as a tool to create more jobs and improve the internally generated revenue in the State.
The Centre also promised to form a synergy with the state government in ensuring that its vision for the sector comes into reality.
The Director of the Centre, Professor Olanrewaju Olaniyan disclosed this while receiving the Special Adviser to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Hon Akeem Adeomla Ige in his office on Thursday.
Professor Olaniyan who explained that the Oyo state is endowed with a lot of tourism potentials, however, expressed their displeasure towards the attitude of the past administrations for not paying attention to the development of the sector.
He stressed that now that the government under Engr Seyi Makinde has shown interest in working with the centre, they were ready to give their best in ensuring that the sector enjoys the best it deserves in the overall interest of the State.
Part of where they intend to assist the state government to achieve in the sector, according to Professor Olaniyan, is proper training of tour guards and other stakeholders, documentation and mapping of tourism sites as well as giving necessary advise and assistant on how to develop tourism sites.
Olaniyan harps on the need for government to embark on sensitization and enlightenment of people on what tourism is all about, adding that “people need to have interest and the only way this can be achieved is to arouse their interest and tell them what tourism is all about.”
“Tourism is not about sites alone, its about the stories around it, the stories make the sites so people that would work in the sites must be properly trained, informed and equipped for the tasks”. He submitted.
While introducing the departments at the centre to Hon. Ige, Director of Tourism, Dr Olusegun Opadeji said that the centre trained professionals in tourism sector and most of their graduates are already in the field while some are lecturers in other schools.
He hinted that apart from tourism, government should also be involved in festivals and other cultural and traditional events that would attract tourists to the State, adding that their coming would definitely boost the economy of the State.
In his short remark, Hon. Ademola Ige explained that the visit was to familiarize with the institute with the aim of forming a synergy with them on how to move tourism sector forward in the State in line with the vision of the Oyo State Governor, Engr Seyi Makinde.
According to him, “I have been moving round the sites and I am not impressed with the state of facilities I met on ground. The Governor is not happy too but I belief the way out is to form a synergy with the stakeholders like you in the sectors so that we can jointly take tourism to the next level”.
“Governor Makinde is ready to transform the sector, and that is why we placed an advert in the national newspaper seeking for investors on some of the tourism sites. We want the sites to come alive and be functional again. It is our collective heritage and pride of Oyo State. We must not fold our hands and allow them to be rotten away”, Ige concluded.
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