Nigeria can generate more money from Tourism than oil, University don tells FG

Olumo Rock, a popular tourist attraction in Nigeria
Olumo Rock, a popular tourist attraction in Nigeria
A university lecturer,  Prof.  Rasaki Ojo-Bakare, from the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, FUOYE, Ekiti State,  has called on the Federal Government to develop the tourism sector, saying the sector can
generate more money than the oli sector for Nigeria.
The University don,  however  regretted  the  poor attentions given to the tourism sector by the  Ekiti State Government,  adding that the tourist attractions in Ekiti  West Local Government alone can  pay the salary of workers, if  properly harnessed  to reduce  dependence on
the federal allocation for the state to survive.
Prof. Bakare, who  spoke in Aramoko Ekiti yesterday  during a press conference commencing  the 2018 edition of Aramoko cultural heritage,
called  ‘ARAHFEST ‘ .
According to Bakare,  over  100  celebrities who are in the hollywood
are expected to grace the programme, expected to commence  between
November 6  and 11 and sponsored by Aramoko  Development Association
(ADA).
He said the cultural fiesta  was targeted at launching the tourism potential  of Ekiti to the  global scene and make it the hub of Arts and  Culture in Africa, particularly the ones that has to do  with
traditions and culture in  the town.
The university don, lamented that the country was losing multi-billion dollars yearly  due to the lip service being paid to the development of Arts and  Culture as well as hospitality businesses.
“We can’t gainsaying the fact that Nigeria is losing for not paying attention  to tourism business. Tourism if well handled will take Nigeria  to where oil has not taken us to.
“Though, those in charge of tourism sector  have not been able to prove  that Nigeria can make money through tourism. Tourism is bringing people  to your doorsteps to see your culture.
“Many countries  like  Gambia, Tanzania and Kenya are making big money from  tourism. In Ekiti alone, activities of tourism along Ikogosi, Ikole  Iloro and across Ekiti West alone  can pay salaries of workers in Ekiti.
“Let us just assume a situation whereby the federal government sites a globally  accepted film village around this place, this  will bring many  film makers to Ekiti and our economy will go up.
“In case the FG doesn’t know, tourism development can take Nigeria to a higher  pedestal the oil they are depending on can never take us to”, he noted.
Speaking on the 2018 edition of the ARAHFEST carnival, Bakare said the
cultural  fiesta will feature  a lecture, titled:  “the place of Aramoko  in the history of Yoruba’,  which will be delivered by anemeritus professor of history.
He said the annual programme was introduced by ADA to stop crime rate, generate  revenue and employment for the locals and expose them to the outside  world.
“It will also feature traditional sports  and  games competition, competition  for the preparation of  traditional cuisine and push bar, comprising  local meals and drinks,  traditional wrestling
competition,  and  beauty contest.
“It is going to be a carnival where traditional guards, hunters, traditional  priests, masqueraders  will display artistic performances that typify them.
“Since we started last year, our local economy has been encouraged and
the crime rate has dropped comparatively. This is the power of
tourism  on the citizens.
“As a Director  of Abuja and Calabar carnivals, who  has also directed
festivals  in other countries of Africa, our plan is to take this ARAHFEST  to the National Carnival in Abuja next year”, he said.
The  President of ADA, Dr. Isaac  Aladeloye,  said no efforts will be
spared  to protect the cultural heritage of the town and that the ARAHFEST  was one of the moves targeted at making the town preserves its core  values of bravery, contentment and brotherliness.
“We  are introducing some core traditional styles and events  and
bringing  in the youths with the contemporary carnival.  We will soon
make  the carnival suits in the nearest future but we are renting them now.
“ We are also including non indigenes who have been part of us for so long.  This way the coming festival would be performed by citizens of Aramoko,  not only indigenes. We will also be featuring celebrities from across the nation”.
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