The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Klick Konnect Networks Akure Chief Dr Alex Ajipe has affirmed that the great works done by the governor of ondo state Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has succeeded in placing Ondo State on the world map.
Ajipe said this yesterday at the celebration of World Tourism Day organised by the Ondo State Ministry of Culture and Tourism in collaboration with Elizade University Ilaramokin held At the University Law Auditorium.
Ajipe said that Nigeria as a country, especially Ondo State has a lot to offer as regards tourism in Nigeria and also tourism worldwide.
He said the state government under the leadership of Akeredolu has done well in placing Ondo state on the world map due to the investments drives and by opening up the airspace making ondo state accessible to tourist.
Ajipe said ” what we are experiencing in this state shows that we have a competent, talk and do governor. Today the Ore industrial hub is now a cynosure of all eyes and the construction of dual carriageway of Araromi to Lekki in Lagos if completed will open up Ondo state to more tourist”
This year theme is inclusive tourism; that means inclusive growth and that means that everyone is involved. And we are just recovering from the pandemic. That means everyone is very important in the sense that under this year’s theme, we are looking at all human beings being taken into consideration and that is why we talk of inclusive growth. We want to see the social and economic benefits that tourism makes available to everybody”, Ajipe said.
He noted that the tourism sector plays a significant role in employment and contributed to the country’s Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
For the industry to thrive in the state, certain urgent measures must be put in place.
“And there is the urgent need for the state government, through its Ministry of Culture and Tourism, to create activities and events that will promote culture, festivals and carnivals, during festive periods especially the Mare festival in Idanre,” He said.
He added that the state was a good destination for tourism development due to the attraction of its various tourism sites like Idanre Hills, Igbo Olodumare, Owo Palace Museum, Smoking Hills Golf Resorts and others.
“We are confronted with the challenge of addressing the problems that confront the people on a daily basis. Holding a political office does not make one a leader but specific problems that one is able to identify and solve sustainably. Data from the 2012 report of the International Labour Organization shows that Sub-Sahara Africa and South Asia have the lowest population of paid employment to total population ratio in the world.
This factor, the low population of paid jobs has impacted so negatively on the country. A lot of promising young people are migrating on a daily basis, and the crime rate is increasing in almost every community. Leaders must both think of increasing revenue and increasing job opportunities among the people at the same time. It is a time to look into the areas of natural economic advantage in respective communities and expand the potentials on a sustainable structural plan. We must reorganize our Agriculture in a way that accommodates the local population for desirable paid incomes and connects the produced goods to viable local and international markets. Different soils and different weather conditions are best fit for different farm produce.
An unexplored area that has a very large potential of accommodating a good number of our youths in paid jobs, and in inclusive visionary ways is the development of our tourism sector. The world is willing and ready to listen to our stories and explore our local diversities but we are not yet creating the opportunity. Tourism is a very buoyant sector globally.
Ajipe however said the current insecurity challenges facing the country is a major challenge to the Tourism sector saying “people can only visit places that have told good stories about themselves and have demonstrated that they are safe to visit.
These are the things we are yet to do for ourselves in regards to our very rich culture and God-given environmental resources. environment, we can only build an inclusive tourism vision in a peaceful atmosphere.
We cannot be producing stories of kidnapping, robbery, banditry etc and expect people to travel down from their continents to come and live among us and spend their money for us. Ajipe said
Speaking at the programme, the governor of ondo state Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said the state government will continue to deploy available resources for the growth and development of tourism in the state.
Akeredolu who was represented at the programme by the Secretary to the state government chief (Mrs) Oladunni Odu also said the government will continue to partner with private sectors to improve tourism in the state.
“We have started on the journey of consolidating on the gains of building a tourism economy we started in our first term in office”
‘‘As you are aware, our glorious state is filled with many natural attractions. These attractions include an expanse of coastline of sandy beaches, countless mountains, rivers and the famous Idanre Hills, where mountains came to host a conference and then refused to leave.
Ondo State also has a rich cultural heritage that embraces unique music and dance. Our state must harness her natural features, culture and talents to create and operate a tourism and entertainment industry that focuses on showcasing the best of Ondo State’s culture and natural features while creating wealth and hope for our youths.’’ Akeredolu disclosed
Also at the programme, chief Ajipe and other eminent personalities were honoured with an award of Excellence in their various field.
Chief Ajipe received award as the trail blazer of entrepreneurs in Ondo state while Travelscope was also honoured as the Tourism ambassador of the year.
Adaba fm, Sunview Hotel and Joseph Ikugbonmire of Orange Fm were also honoured with an award as the pathfinder of media outlet, most hospitable hotel and the media man of the year in Ondo state respectively.