Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has disclosed that Nigeria should rather look into the development of the tourism sector to generate revenue for the country as an alternative to petroleum.
He said Nigeria has many tourists sites that could sufficiently take care of the nation’s budgetary expenses as done by developed countries like United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirate (UAE), where foreigners trooped to see sites and monuments.
In a statement signed by Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Wasiu Olatubosun at Ibadan on Saturday, in commemoration of the year 2020 World Tourism Day, he quoted the governor as assuring that the State would not pay lip service to the development of tourism in the State.
He hinted that many tourist sites across the State were already being toured by officials of the Ministry and partners in the tourism industry for proper maintenance works to put them in a good position and attract attention towards their individual potentials.
“Nigeria has come to a crossroad on the financial capacity to take care of her budgetary expenses, the country has to stop pretending that everything is alright, we have to look critically at the tourism sector to escape the looming financial insolvency the country faces.
“Even the best of the countries in development all over the world are not monolithic in their source of revenue generation, go to the United Kingdom, go to France, America, Saudi Arabia, UAE and the rest, they don’t rely solely on oil, they all have tourism to back them up.
“There are so many tourists sites in Oyo State alone, not to talk of Nigeria that will earn the country and the State enough revenue to sustain them and in Oyo State, we will not pay lip service to the development of the tourism sector.
“We shall give all we have to promote the sector and partner with the best corporate organizations to achieve this aim, all our monuments, tourism sites and important cultural events will see international showcasing that will attract and engage national and international respects and visitation.”
Olatubosun said the theme of the year, 2020 International Tourism Day is ‘Tourism and Rural Development’ and the State government, through the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism would be at Idere, Ibarapa Central local government to showcase the Idere Hills Tourism Cluster to the whole world on Sunday, September 27, 2020.
He urged lovers of tourism to join the people of Idere community and visitors from all works of life to celebrate the day.
The State government has recently announced to partner the Irefin Royal Family of Ibadan to promote the historical Irefin Palace to a tourist centre of international standard.