Commissioner, Ministry of Home Affairs, Culture and Tourism, State of Osun, Hon, Adetona Ayedun, has said that the state through Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola was targeting N15 billion revenue from tourism in 2015. This projection is technically and consciously proved by the robust gains interrelationship with tourism and cultural endowed nations like Cuba.
The commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary from the ministry, Mrs. Olajumoke Bello, stated this in his address at the opening ceremony of the 2014 annual brand and marketing conference of brand journalists association of Nigeria, held at Osogbo over the weekend.
He explained that the Government of the State of Osun has aggressively improved the infrastructures such as roads, power and security in other to achieve this. “Our business visitation to Cuba has exposed us to ideas on how tourism and culture could be promoted as revenue earners for State of Osun in particular and Nigeria in general. This is what we are doing and we are reaping benefits from the actions”.
“There is no other better place to find and enjoy tourism other than where we are, State of Osun. Ours is a state enriched with diverse cultural attributes and elements such Olumirin Waterfalls, Erin Ijesa Spring, Ayunkunugba, Opa Oranmiyan,” he added. Also speaking the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Sunday Akere, disclosed that the state can boost of over sixty tourist attraction centres which the government is now concentrating development on to help cushion the shortfall from oil revenue.
He said, “There seems to be no better time than now when all of us in Nigeria will have to look beyond oil especially with the unpredictability staring the World economy at the face”. Akere explained that to get alternative income through tourism might be a solution as some countries today rely solely on the sector as the bedrock of their economic survival.
The Commissioner noted that the government, in its belief to improve the lives of the people has placed man as the centerpiece of all its developmental programmes because all the programmes being executed but the present administration in the State resolve round improving the lot of the people. In his paper presentation tittles Nigeria and Repositioning of Tourism Destination , President, Nigerian Guild of Editors and Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Newspapers , Mr. Femi Adesina, said that a lot have spoken volumes upon volumes of words on the need to diversify the economy of the country, and break the mono- product dependence on oil.
There have been conferences, symposia, workshops, both locally and internationally on the issue. But all the findings significantly end up in one place: the shelves, where they gather dust. Like in the macabre dance, Nigeria only takes one step forward and two steps backwards. He explained that tourism has been identified as one of the veritable alternatives to oil as a major revenue earner for the country.
Many countries of the world do not have natural resources, and depend largely on earnings from tourism. Israel, despite being beleaguered politically and surrounded by hostile neighbours, thrives on the marketing of its historical sites. All year round, tourists and pilgrims troop into Israel to visit sites venerated and considered holy by the major religions of the world.