AN ADDRESS BY THE GOVERNOR OF EKITI STATE, HIS EXCELLENCY, DR KAYODE FAYEMI AT THE FORUM OF EKITI STATE TECHNICAL CONSULTATIVE COMMITTEE ON CULTURE, ARTS AND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT HELD IN ADO-EKITI ON MONDAY, 12TH SEPTEMBER, 2011PROTOCOLIt is my pleasure to welcome you all to this event. I consider thisgathering as very important considering the desire of thisgovernment to turn around all areas of our existence as a statenot only to be an envy of others but also to be of benefit to ourpeople in their legitimate businesses to earn a decent living.It is a statement of fact that Ekiti State is very rich in arts andculture. In virtually all our towns, villages and settlements, thereare amazing display of cultural heritage of the people bound byan enviable history of civilization, love, hospitality and zeal to
communal survival. The values of the Ekiti people as embedded intheir dateless past are a major asset that keeps the people goingin spite of daunting challenges of infiltrations of foreign cultureand/or outright theft of our artifacts.Even when we were part of the old politico-geographic entities ofthe Western Region, Western State and/or Ondo State, Ekitistood out as a unique, distinct and unmistakably insuppressiblepeople. These, of course, are great credentials that appear not tohave been fully tapped for their economic values.Closely connected with our rich resources in tradition, arts andculture is our great potentials in Tourism. This administration hastaken a cursory look at this direction and discovered verycheeringly that this sector has the capacity to turn the entirestate round as a catalyst of economic development if fully utilized.
This forum is therefore a strategy by the government to put astake on a goldmine that we have commonly not taken a fulladvantage of over the years. As a matter of fact, up till now, wehave only been celebrating the huge tourism potentials of EkitiState as evident in a rich culture, amazing natural sites andhospitable people without transforming it maximally to acorresponding economic advantage. These rich endowments arestill very largely latent, hence the motivation to select eminentintellectuals and stakeholders in the sector and bring themtogether as a Technical Consultative Committee with a charge toevolve a Tourism Plan that can provide a practical connectbetween pleasure and economic growth.I like to stress that Tourism is an attractive tool for economicdevelopment. There are clear evidences that many countries ofthe world have been able to attain economic power and increase
the living standard of their people through the development oftheir tourist endowments. According to available data,international tourist arrivals across the world in 1999 wereestimated at 700 million resulting in over $500 billion in Touristreceipts. In its 1999 Statistical Survey, the World TradeOrganisation (WTO), tourism generates nearly 250 million jobs allover the world. Cultural-tourism in Nigeria is fast becoming analternative source of revenue generation to crude oil.This administration has deliberately placed much premium on thetourism sector hence its prominent place in the 8 Point Agenda ofthe State Government. This importance can further be seen in thecreation of a full-fledged Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourismwith a substantive Commissioner as well as a Special Adviser ofcabinet rank to main Tourism Development. A visit to Okogosi,Ipole-Iloro and some other tourist centres now would convince
you of our determination to place Ekiti State in the global map ofnot only attractive but sustainable tourism. It may interest you tonote that these centres are already being processed for listing inthe World Heritage and Monuments list.In recognition of the vital roles of security and infrastructureamong others in tourism development, this administrationprocured communication gadgets and vehicles for the use of theNigeria Police to enhance their effective policing. We have alsoembarked on the construction, reconstruction and rehabilitationof urban and rural roads. This is all in an effort to make EkitiState attractive without any fear of insecurity. I want to use theopportunity of this occasion to also call on individual andcorporate investors to take the advantage of the great potentialsof the tourism industry of Ekiti State for investment. No place canpossibly bring better returns than what Ekiti State offers.
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I want to urge you to discussfrankly and come up with useful and workable suggestionstowards making Ekiti State a destination of choice in Tourism.It is now pleasure to declare the forum to the glory of God andthe economic enhancement of Ekiti State, the Land of Honour.Thank you and God bless