‘Culture, Tourism Great Tools For Job-Creation’

The House of Assembly member representing Obokun Constituency of Osun State, Hon. Olatunbosun Oyintiloye has said investments in culture and tourism by the federal and state governments would boost job creation and the economy. He made the submission while speaking at the 2015 Obokun Festival.

According to him, tourism development would not only serve as alternative source of income, but would also reinforce the fight against social vices and help address societal ills by instilling high moral standards and cultural values.

Bringing to mind the economic challenge being faced in the country, Oyintiloye lamented that economic challenges being experienced in the country was largely due to heavy dependence on the revenue from petroleum products and the concomitant effect of the fall in global oil prices. He advocated that it was high time Nigeria began to look beyond oil and diversify its economy.

While outlining areas of job creation in the sector to include tour guide, horticulture, food services, entertainment industry, craft and art production and waste recycling to mention a few, he maintained that it was the prerogative of Nigerians to tap into these opportunities.

While lauding the Osun State for developing tourism masterplan which he said had a robust and global outlook, he maintained that the blueprint had the mindset of economy of scale, as it focused on development of local content. He expressed strong hope that the masterplan which was meticulously and diligently developed by the State Tourism Board when fully implemented would set the pace for others to follow.

Oyintiloye cited the example of Olumirin Waterfall, saying through effective management by an agency of the state government it attracted over 50,000 visitors in 2014. The lawmaker, who noted that Obokun cultural value and tourism potentials were enormous, called all stakeholders including sons and daughter of Ibokun at home and in Diaspora to contribute their quota towards its development.

He pointed out that strict supervision was necessary to explore the gains in the sector, adding, “it is not enough to allocate money for the sector, but we must guard our investment, to see it flourish and help develop our economy because that is what some countries primarily depend on to survive”.

“If some countries depended solely on tourism to survive, nothing stops Nigeria from developing the sector to the maximum”.

He also used the occasion to call for the preservation and restoration of cultural and moral values in order to restore Yoruba culture which was gradually fading away, adding that the positive impacts of culture preservation would not only include national integration but moral re-awakening.

Also speaking, the Oba Ibokun of Ibokun, Oba Festus Awogboro charged government to encourage Obokun festival and other such cultural events in the state, saying they were source of revenue generation for government. He described Ibokun as the source of Ijesa people, and called on sons and daughters of the town to also find ways of attracting development to the town. 

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