The Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has disclosed plans to revive and further promote Aso-Ofi craft and businesses through different medium including organising festivals that attracts visitors across the country and abroad.
Makinde said that the process has commenced with the sustainance of the festival to ensure the craft remain relevant many years to come.
He stated these during the the grand-finale of Aso-Ofi festival which was witnessed by dignitaries in and outside Oyo State, assuring Iseyin Weavers of his support for their businesses.
Speaking at the event through his wife, Tamunomini Makinde, yesterday, he said the festival would promote the cultural values and heritage of the State.
The governor urged the Iseyin weavers not to compromise the originality of the wool used in weaving Aso-Ofi, adding that it can never be duplicated.
He also hinted that Aso-Ofi has grown to be one of Nigeria’s internationally recognised fabrics, known for its rich cultural values.
“I appeal to our weavers, put a mark on our heritage, it can not be made elsewhere. If it is not made here, it is counterfeit”, the governor said.
“Ensure you protect our heritage, promote what we have and keep our culture for our generations unborn. Don’t sell out your trade’s secret. Do ur best to protect our heritage”, Makinde added.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture, and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, said the present administration in Oyo State is committed to showcasing and harnessing the tourism and economic potentials embedded in the festival.
He said that the Aso-Ofi festival, which was last celebrated in 2018, is set for revival and unhindered annual celebrations.
Olatunbosun said, with the Aso-Ofi fabrics and resolution by the State Government to promote them, there will be a revolution in the tourism sector of the state.
He hinted that Oyo State Government is resolute to champion the exportation of Aso-Ofi fabrics in the state, adding that the cultural, tourism and creative industry have been identified as one of the major sectors to diversify the economy.
The State Government’s Spokesman added that Oyo State Government was already formulating policies that will aid the promotion of this sector, while actions are being taken to unlock the huge potentials in the sector
He said the State government has found it expedient to increase awareness about the annual festival due to its potentials.
“We are confident that the Aso-Ofi festival is back to and the State Government in collaboration with major stakeholders will be working to revive the festival and promote Aso-Ofi beyond the shores of Nigeria.
“We are working hard to ensure that all potentials are harnessed. We are set to work with sponsors, exporters, and promoters in order to make it as international as possible to attract, cultural enthusiasts and huge buyers,” he said.