As much as tourism can bring prosperity, purpose and pride to a destination, so too can it take these benefits away. With increases in arrivals of leisure and business travelers to a destination, tourism has the potential to cause damage to a destinationâ€™s value and values system as a result of over_use of infrastructure without re_investment back into maintenance and renewal critical to the â€œengineeringâ€ of the destination.
With this in mind, the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) knowing the excessive exposure of the Osun Groove to human traffic during the annual Osun Osogbo festivalÂ and not wanting the destabilization of the environment and ecosystem donated 15 chemically operated mobile toilet and 20 dustbins to the Osun State Government in support of the 2009 Osun Osogbo Annual International Cultural Festival.
Mr. Ajibade Adaralegbe,Â NTDC Director of Administration and Supplies,Â making the donation on behalf of the Executive Director of the Corporation, Otunba Segun Runsewe, said â€œThe tourism sector has become appreciated and respected globally for the very real, very rich impact it has on people, places and spaces around the world. Tourism has become an important source of identity, revenues and employment for destinationsâ€
He added that with growing interest in tourism as exemplified by the number of people trooping to the Osun grove yearly, it will be unwise not to protect the environment and eco system from human waste, â€œso as a body thatÂ believes in practical tourism I present these Mobile toilets and dustbins to the Hon. Commissioner of Tourism and Culture on behalf of Otunba Olusegun Runsewe.â€
AdaralegbeÂ stressed the DGâ€™s appreciation over the existing cooperation between the Commissioner and NTDC. The NTDC boss stressed the need for synergy between the Federal and State government in order to move the tourism sector forward.
According to the DG NTDC, employment generation and wealth creation are the cardinal objectives of the present NTDC administration. His words: â€œTourism is Life, everything we do in life is centred on Tourismâ€.
The DGâ€™s representative affirmed that with the needed political will, the tourism sector would cover enough mileage because â€œOil is exhaustible, but tourism is inexhaustibleâ€.
He equally stressed the need for sound marketing strategy in order to move tourism forward in Nigeria. He called on the states and federal government to invest massively on tourism which has become a major source of foreign exchange earner for most countries.
He stated that NTDC under the present Management has been able to bring tourism to the front burner of national discourse. He further affirmed that the donation of toilets and dustbins are door opener as it would usher in a new era of cooperation between the apex tourism regulatory body and the Osun State government.
He was optimistic that in future, the organizers of the festival, NTDC and the State would come out with a strategy on how best to generate revenue during the cultural festival.
The DGâ€™s representative further stated that NTDC was encouraged to donate the items because of the need to support the good work of the Governor of Osun State, Prince Olagunsoye Onyinlola and his Commissioner of Tourism and Culture.
In his response, the Commissioner of Tourism and Culture Osun State, Hon. Obafemi Fagbola while receiving the donations from NTDC stated: â€œwe are very grateful to NTDC, most especially the DG.
According to him: â€œthe items will be well utilized and will serve as employment generation for Osun people.The Commissioner received the donations on behalf of His Excellency, Prince Olagunsoye Onyinlola.
The mobile toilets and dustbin were later distributed and placed on strategic points along Idiolowo road in Oshogbo through Isaleosun street to the groove by the combined team of NTDC officials and officials of the State Ministry of Tourism and Culture.