The lawmaker representing Obokun State Constituency in the Osun State House of Assembly, Hon. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, has advocated Creation of Open Market to harness the potentials of Osun Osogbo festival.
This model, he described as a way forward to promote commerce and open market opportunities for locally produced items.
He said the annual festival has the potential to create job for the youth, enhance their creativity and sell the tourism potential of the state to the world and help the state generate revenue to make it a self sustaining economy.
According to the lawmaker, the event, if properly planned by government and the traditional council in the state capital could for instance revive the tie and dye industry the town is renowned for even before it became a state capital, attract more youth to the profession and reduce unemployment problems in the state.
He said: “Though, Osun Osogbo itself is a tourism attraction, but if properly redesigned, it could help create synergy among the over 100 tourism site in the state and make them hot spot for revenue generation and job creation.
Oyintiloye explained that the one month long activities posses enormous commercial value, which was yet to be tapped.
The lawmaker noted that special market hub could be created around the major spots in the city as open market in which government could place small levy on traders.
The initiative he explained would be in the form of Osogbo trade fair and would run parallel during the festival.
The festival, traditionally, is celebrated for over a month, so this provide an opportunity for government to create special open market for all types of product produced in the state such as adire, traditional paintings, woodwork, local drums among others.
Such special market would also have multiplier effect on market women and men who could harp on the opportunity to sell their product and more youth would likely join the creative sector to seek greener pasture”.
He added that such open market are available in other countries who host festivals with the magnitude of the Osun Osogbo, which is rich in culture and tradition, hence, the need for the state government to collaborate with the traditional council to emulate similar move, with a view to creating value chain for the residents of the state and beyond.
According to him, the brewing industry is already tapping the potential of the industry by providing special stalls for its distributors and retailers for the one month duration of the festival in strategic locations in the state capital, stressing the need for government to create an enabling environment for the other sectors to harnessed opportunities as well.
Oyintiloye further urged the Federal Government to invest in the Osun Groove by creating infrastructure befitting of such site so as to attract more tourists across the globe even at periods that the festival is not holding.
He acknowledged the state government under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola for effort at ensuring that some facilities are provided at the groove to make visitors comfortable during the grand finale of the festival and for the construction of access road to the site, seeking greater partnership between the state and the Federal Government towards making the site a world class heritage centre.
“The groove being a UNESCO heritage site, if it is made a fulcrum for other sites in the state, such as Olumirin Waterfall, Ayekunnugba Waterfall, Osogbo First Palace, the Oranmiyan Staff, the Kiriji War sites and many others, Osun could be the tourism hub of the federation and job opportunities would be available for the teeming youth population,” he added.