The Osun State Governor, Gboyega Oyetola, has reiterated his administration’s commitment to transform the state’s economy through huge investment in culture and tourism, saying Osun would soon become the United Arab Emirate of Nigeria.
This is coming as he also disclosed that his governnement also plans to develop agri-tourism as part of efforts to strengthen local economy, create job opportunities and new businesses for residents to thrive.
The Governor said his administration was determined to provide leadership in domestic and international tourism in the country, adding that workable culture and tourism policies had been incorporated as part of culture and Tourism for Sustainable Economy agenda.
Speaking during the official launch of Osun Tourism Master Plan: Culture and Tourism for Sustainable Economy (CUTOSEC), Oyetola said the plan
He said the Master Plan was aimed at improving the potential in the culture and tourism sector to aid development, adding that the initiative involved a comprehensive template to expand the state’s economic diversification programme and improve its Internally Generated Revenue.
“It is our resolve as a government to deploy these potential into maximum use and turn our dear State into the United Arab Emirate of Nigeria. As tourism progressively raises its profile in national economic planning, there is a clear need to ensure that attention is paid to its long-term development potential.
“Such an approach demands comprehensive strategic planning for the industry’s future. As a government, we are keying into that by laying a solid foundation for better Nigerian tourism.
“Our development plan for tourism involves two time horizons – the short and long terms. While Osun Sterling Tourism Vision (OSTOV) 30-30 is our short term agenda that we wish to achieve to lay a solid foundation for the perfect growth of tourism in the state, the Culture and Tourism for Sustainable Economy (CUTOSEC) is the long-term plan that will build on the achievements of Osun Sterling Tourism Vision 30-30 for permanent development of tourism.
“All our efforts today are to bring investors to this state for a mutually-beneficial engagement. Given its importance, the state has produced investment manual, developed a unique tourism investment model and published available investment opportunities in our sites like Olumirin Waterfall, Ayikunnugba Waterfall, Owala rivers, Kiriji war sites and other viable opportunities as part of the Culture and Tourism for Sustainable Economy documents.
“It is our resolve to develop a home-grown Public Private Partnerships Investment Model that will take care of the immediate needs of the stakeholders and pledge a promising future for the participants.
“Our model addresses the key issues of land, reward system, tax matters, etc., and provides the basis of relationship with communities, employment and social responsibility to the community. We are open for negotiations on our offer,” he added.
Furthermore, he said the development of agri-tourism would assist the government in its resolve to support the citizens, particularly the youth through promotion of training and certification programmes and introduction of young people to agriculture and environment.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed commended the Oyetola’s administration for developing the Master Plan, describing the initiative as a right step in the right direction.
Muhammed who was represented by DG/CEO Centre for Blacks and African Arts and Civilisation (CBAAC), Oluwabunmi Amao, said that the initiative would go a long way to give a realistic direction in the development of tourist centres and make Osun the best destination.
According to him, the initiative would also help to unlock the numerous potential of the State for socio-economic development and by extension generate employment for the citizens.