In its bid to boost tourism sector and make it an avenue to increase its internally generated revenue, the Oyo State government has restated its commitment to work closely with the Federation of Tourism Practitioners in Nigeria (FTAN) to form a synergy to develop its tourism sector.
The Special Adviser to Oyo State Governor on Tourism and Culture, Akeem Ademola Ige disclosed this while receiving the Vice Chairman South West of FTAN, Mr Tunde Kolade and his entourage who paid him a courtesy visit in his office on Tuesday.
Ige who acknowledged the support and role of FTAN as professional bodies in the forefront of promoting tourism, said government needs the support of the professionals and practitioners more than ever before in its bid to make the tourism a money spinning sector in the State.
The Special Adviser who described the visit as timely and important as the government was preparing to celebrate this year World Tourism Day slated for 27th September, noted that the State is boasting of many Tourism sites in every nook and cranny that are capable to drive the economy if tap into and well manage.
He disclosed that Governor Seyi Makinde out of the desire of his administration to boost the economy and attracts investors into the State, he has aggressively embarked on construction and opening up of many road networks that lead to some of these tourism sites including the ones classified as federal government roads.
Ige further pointed out that governor Makinde has made prompt payment of workers salary his utmost priority since inception of office even up till now that there is decline in allocation received from the federal government by the states, assuring that by the time the State government fully tapped into its tourism sector, it will not wait for the federal allocation before it fulfils its obligation.
While responding to the requests by the association that the Oyo State government should consider inclusion of their member into the tourism board, separation of Ministry of Culture and Tourism from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism as presently constituted and hosting of South West regional Agenda of FTAN, Ige assured that government will look into their requests and make its conclusion known to them.
Earlier in his speech, the leader of the team, Mr Tunde Kolade commended the vision and leadership acumen of Governor Makinde led administration which has brought about positive development in every area of governance in the state.
He said that the purpose of the visit was to express their desire to solicit partnership with the government for the promotion of Tourism sector in the State so as to use their expertise and experience as professionals to guide the government so as to build an inclusive, engaged and prosperous community together.