Weavers appeal to government, traditional rulers to promote Aso-Ofi
Mr Kazeem Adewuyi, the Chairman, Iseyin Weavers and Marketers Association made the appeal in Ibadan on Thursday after an inter-ministerial briefing by the State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association is partnering with the state government on the hosting of second edition of `Aso-Ofi Day’ scheduled to hold on Sept. 15 and 16 in Iseyin.
NAN reports that the association also partnered the state government in September 2016 to host the first edition of Aso-Ofi day in commemoration of World Tourism Day. Adewuyi said that the fabric was yet to gain the expected prominence across the world, saying its acceptability across the world would boost the nation’s economy.
He said that the association had developed the fabric into various designs and style, which were now being used for several products, ranging from bags, shoes, suits to mention a few.
The chairman called for more collaborative efforts to make the product attractive and to be accepted worldwide.
Adewuyi also charged the state government to ensure that the international market was built as promised, pledging its support to government’s industrial initiatives. Meanwhile, Oyo State Government has approved 13.5 hectares of land for the establishment of Aso-Ofi International Tourism Market in Iseyin area of the state.
Mr Toye Arulogun, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism said that the foundation of the international market would be laid by the governor on Sept. 16.
“The Aso-Ofi International Tourism Market will contain 500 weaving sheds and workshops, 500 exhibition shops, a warehouse, first indigenous textile museum in Nigeria, a fire station, a clinic and a police station,’’ he said.
He said that the state was determined to fully reap maximally from the economic potentials of Aso-Ofi. According to him, Aso-Ofi festival is conceptualised to showcase and celebrate the locally made fabric that is now an internationally accepted brand.
“The celebration opened our eyes wider to the potential that abound, which include trade and commercial activities likewise employment and job creation. “Financial institutions have also been having serious and genuine engagements with the weavers and marketers while export opportunities are also being exploited.”
Arulogun said that 2017 edition was expected to attract Iseyin sons and daughters at home and in the Diaspora as well as national and international tourists and traders.
He said that the state government through the ministry currently operated Identity, Package, Promote and Partner (IPPP) policy. The commissioner said that data base for all the cultural tourism potential in the state had been created to package and make them more attractive.
Arulogun said that the government was now in the process of short listing companies for the Public Private Partnership engagement of major cultural tourism sites across the state.
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