Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has said that arrangements were in top gear to partner a Special Purpose Vehicle Organisation of Bankers’ Committee, to establish a multi-purpose creative and entertainment village in the State, towards boosting the tourism sector in the country.
Governor Abiodun, who stated this at the 42nd edition of the World Tourism Day, with the theme, ‘’Tourism and Jobs: A better future for all’’, said the creative and entertainment village upon completion, will be first of its kind in Africa.
Represented by his Deputy, Engr. Noimot Salako-Oyedele, the Governor noted that, ‘’Apart from the fact that Ogun State is home to very interesting artefacts and historic sites, the numerous tourist centres and businesses such as, the birikisu Sungbo shrine, Yemoji Natural Pool, Iwasi Eco-tourism Centre, Ebute Oni Tourist beach, Olumo rock, Itoku Adire market Eruwon Golf resort amongst others, have continued to contribute immensely to the economy of our State.
”Also since inception of our administration, we have put structure in place, not only to support these tourist activities, but to harness the potential of the tourism sector towards the successful implementation of Building our future together agenda”, he said.
Abiodun said the State was proud to hold the flag in the entertainment industry, with the highest number of prominent practitioners in all genres of arts and entertainment, adding that it was a sub-sector of the State’s tourism that has demonstrated its potentials as employers of Labour and earners of foreign exchange, in addition to the promotion of the nation’s diverse but rich culture and brand to the outside world.
While congratulating the organisers and everyone who contributed to make the programme a reality, the Governor called on stakeholders in tourism and private sector, to come and partner with the State.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Alhaja Selimot Ottun, stated that, the purpose of World Tourism Day was to support changes in policy, business practices and tourism behaviour towards a more sustainable tourism and hospitality sector.
According to her, tourism has contributed to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), creating 10 percent of world jobs as included in the SDG8 for its potential to create work, adding that as the event was being celebrated worldwide annually, tourism’s role in job creation was undervalued.
In his goodwill message, Chairman House Committee on Information, Culture and Tourism, Hon. Adejojo Yusuff, revealed that tourism has proven to be a very reliable source of revenue for a number of countries in the world, noting that the country was blessed with numerous tourism potentials which surpasses those of the countries making waves in tourism business.
He said, if tourism was accorded the right attention, the challenge of unemployment would be a thing of the past, as the industry has the potentials to provide jobs for millions of Nigerians.
Speaking in the same vein, an expert in the tourism sector, Omoba Abiola Ogundeko, congratulated the State government for the official celebration of the World Tourism Day, saying it is appropriate to the realisation of the genuine commitment to ‘Building our future together’ agenda.