The Ondo State government and the Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria, FTAN have stressed the need to give top priority to culture and tourism sector to boost revenue generation of the state.
This is just as the state government and FTAN expressed readiness and commitment to partner in boosting the state’s Economy through Tourism and Culture.
They made this position known on Tuesday in Akure, the state capital, while inaugurating the Pioneer Executive members of FTAN, Ondo state chapter.
The members are Mr Olugbenga Omotayo Sunday, state Coordinator, Mrs Opeyemi Bademosi–Ekunpa as State Secretary, Mr Alex Akinrinmoyo – Public Relations Officer, Mrs Yewande Olowookere – Intergovernmental Relations Officer, Mr Oloruntoba Solomon – Treasurer, Mrs Rachael Akintide-Abisola – Special Adviser and Mr Salaudeen AlHassan – Membership Secretary.
Performing the Inauguration, the South West Vice President of the Federation, Otunba Ayo Olumoko urged the new executive members to abide by the constitution of the Federation at all times and be loyal to the Federation.
Olumoko said “What has started in Ondo state,it is something that is very spectacular. It is something that Nigerians have not taken cognizance of. It is something that has been there untapped which will affect the internally generated revenue of every state in Nigeria.
It will also add value to the Gross Domestic Products,GDP, of Nigeria. It will not dry as oil is drying in Nigeria today and the situation around the world is changing from oil. Oil will dry but our culture will not dry. So the awareness is improving and that’s why it is starting in Ondo state.
The pioneer coordinator will run the affairs of the Federation in Ondo state chapter and there is a need for the state ministry of Culture And Tourism to work with us like other states have been doing so that the ministry will have a smooth organisation and running of various activities that involve stakeholders in the ministry.
We want to help the government to move on. FTAN is not a political association but an institution. We know that Nigerians don’t appreciate tourism. They have relegated it to the background and that is why it is only international bodies that have been administering Tourism in Nigeria.
But within the last two years ,we have been trying to ensure that we have state chapters that can always be there to take care of the immediate needs of the association.
There is a lot of activities that the FTAN, Ondo state chapter will be doing, which will be to interface with the stakeholders. The programmes of FTAN in Ondo state is not for government. We are not in anyway indebted to the government because government will always come and go,FTAN is for the stakeholders.
Apart from that, whatever policies coming from the government, we will interface with those concerned.
On his part, the Pioneer FTAN coordinator, Mr Olugbenga Omotayo gave the assurance that the Federation would make Ondo state a destination for everyone in the world.
Omotayo said “the vision of FTAN is to grow domestic tourist market and to position Nigeria as a leading business tourist destination in West Africa. We will run with this vision in partnership with government.
We will make Ondo state a destination. A place that people want to come because they know it is a destination they can come for their vacations and unwinding businesses.
There are lots in the state such as idanre Hill and other tourists centers, so much culture and arts and entertainment. We will do everything possible to develop and market tourism in Ondo State. Mission and vision of FTAN will be our guide in achieving all these and boosting the economy of the state.When we have much traffic in the state, that will have a lot of impact on our Gross Domestic Products.
In a remark, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of culture and Tourism, Mrs Boladale Akinyanmi represented by a Director, Mr Adeola Aderinola expressed the readiness of the state government to partner with FTAN in boosting the economy of Ondo state.
According to Akinyanmi, governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is more than ready to reposition and re-energise the tourism in Ondo state.