In an effort to promote Yoruba cultural tourism, Oyo State Government, in collaboration with some notable associations, has concluded arrangements to organise Amala Fiesta.
Mr Toye Arulogun, the state Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism on Tuesday in Ibadan publicly presented the Amala Fiesta Logo and Brand Ambassador.
At the event held at the Western Hall, Agodi Secretariat, Mr Gboyega Olatunji, a former aide to Gov. Abiola Ajimobi, was presented as the Amala Fiesta Ambassador.
`Amala’ is the Number One food brand of the Yoruba race.
`Amala’ and its complements, `Ewedu’ and `Gbegiri’ are a delicacy for occasions of any magnitude associated with Yoruba race.
Arulogun said that the food festival would open opportunities, create employment and promote cultural tourism.
The commissioner said that the three-day fiesta would hold from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17 at the Trans Amusement Park, Bodija, Ibadan.
He said that `Amala’ represented the homogenous nature of Yoruba people, the culture, health and wealth.
“The Yorabas are indigenous to South-West Nigeria, and `Amala’ is not only indigenous to the Yoruba race but symbolic as the commonality and strong bond of a people.
“Amala is the Oyo State’s foremost delicacy which has become a national pride with international presence and worldwide acceptance,’’ he said.
Alhaja Iyadunni Lawal, Proprietress of Iyadunni Food Canteen, Ibadan, said at the occasion that Amala had become a delicacy for all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and tradition.
Lawal, who represented Canteen Owners’ Association of Nigeria (COAN), Oyo State Chapter, commended the state government for the idea.
Mr Philip Areo, the Vice-President, Tourist Care and Hospitality Association of Nigeria (TCHAN), Oyo State Chapter, noted that `Amala’ consumption had provided employment and promoted food tourism.
“Farmers produced the raw material for Elubo, Gbegiri and Ewedu, while the transformation to edible substance involved many.
“If you look at these processes, it allows more opportunities, more revenue and economic development.
“A lot of my friends come from Lagos every weekend to eat Amala in Ibadan,’’ he said.
The programme is being packaged by the Oyo State Government in collaboration with COAN, TCHAN and Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State Chapter.