As part of efforts to generate employment for the people of Osun state, a private tourism investor, Chief Margaret Bolanle Fabiyi, is to collaborate with the Osun state government to develop a world-class tourism resort in Ikirun.
The project, when completed will serve as a one-stop shop for leisure, hospitality, entertainment, shopping, conference and tours and that it will cost billions of naira.
Speaking to journalists in Lagos, Chief Margaret Bolanle Fabiyi, popularly called Webisco, stated that the resort, when completed, apart from being one of the best in Nigeria would also have agricultural component to grow agricultural tourism and residential houses.
The project, she added, would also create room for service providers, a hospital, school, jetty, helipad and filling station among other facilities.
Fabiyi also added that the project would generate revenue for the state as well as address the problem of unemployment by creating jobs for the people of the state in the face of harsh economic situation necessitated by the fall in the global crude oil price at the world market.
She stated that efforts were being made to complete the land acquisition and documentation, adding that the state government should do the needful by showing above average commitment financially and otherwise to birth the resort.
According to her, “We have acquired a 25-square kilometre land in Ikirun, Osun State for the development of a one-stop tourism resort second to none in Nigeria yet. The land was facilitated by His Royal Highness, the Akirun of Ikirun, Oba Rauf Olawale. The resort, when developed will have parks, hospital, school, residential buildings, jetty, filling station, business outlets, conference centre etc. We are working out the modalities and would make an appropriate comment on its update when we have sorted out the grey arrears.”
She said that President Barak Obama would had driven tourism traffic into Nigeria, but that this should not be relied on since it did not happen.
“As we continue to invest our individual efforts in promoting and marketing tourism in our country, we hope that very soon we will begin to reap the dividends. A trip by President Barack Obama, for instance, would drive heavy traffic to this country. Although we will not bank on that, given that his tenure is running fast, we are committed to continuously promoting our country as the home of hospitality in West Africa,” she assured.
Fabiyi disclosed that as part of her effort to open up the country to influx of tourists, a team of travel writers from the United States were expected in the country for the second familiarisation tour that would be organised by her in collaboration with the Federal Government to promote tourism in Nigeria.
“For the FAM Trip, we would get in touch with the facilitators so that we would not be taken unawares when ministers, yet to be appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari, assume duty,” she said.
Webisco, as she is popularly called, stated that she would use WIFWETN, her organisation, to do the needful by liaising with the authorities to ensure that the trip is done to the glory of God and the benefit of every Nigerian.
On the security challenges in the country, she argued that there was no country in the world, be it developed or developing countries without security challenges.
The private investor promised to ensure that the guests are protected during their visit and exposed them only to Nigeria tourism potential, to supply them with limitless information of Nigeria potential, because there was the need to move from tourism potential to prosperity following the fall in the price of oil.
On the Familiarisation Trip (Fam Trip), Fabiyi, said that because of her background, experience and commitment, she sees Nigeria’s stabilising democratic governance as good omen to sustain this zeal by organising another Fam Trip.
She stated that this time, about 10 travel writers from the US were planning to come to Nigeria as soon as she and her team were ready, adding that the visit by the writers was expected to last for 12 days.
She informed that the planned visit by the writers was in partnership with VALinc PR, to compliment what Nigeria tourism writers had been doing and to create a window and a sustainable gateway for the world to see and appreciate our potential.
According to her, “The trip is a deliberate effort to expose top media outlets to travel, vacation and cultural opportunities here and to create a rich itinerary and present to the Americans a balanced package of our endowments. They would like to experience firsthand the old traditional Nigeria, visit local producers of food, art, fashion, culinary, nightlife, entertainment, tourist sites, beaches and historical monuments.”
She continued, “The trip, all other things being equal, will be reciprocated by us, and would also involve a US road show, meetings with appropriate media and business leaders in target areas such as Harlem and Brooklyn in New York, Atlanta Georgia, Washington DC, Chicago, Illinois etc.”