By Demola Akinyemi
The Vice-Chairman, Senate Committee on Housing and Procurement, Senator Oyelola Ashiru has tasked the federal government to take a keen interest in the unlocking of tourism potentials that abound across the nation to boost the country’s revenue generation (IGR) and also address the. daunting unemployment challenges facing Nigeria.
Senator Ashiru who represents Kwara South senatorial district at the Upper legislative chamber disclosed this in Offa while speaking with journalists shortly after tours of Esie national museum and Owu waterfalls located at the senatorial district.
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The tour was accompanied by over 200 selected tourism experts and groups of youths in the state.
The tourism which was funded by Senator Ashiru was coordinated by a renowned tourist entrepreneur, Mrs Yetunde Jato, who is also a Chief Executive Officer, CEO, of ‘Ankara Tours’.
Represented by his legislative aide, Him Benjamin Oyinloye the lawmaker said, “it is disheartening that, despite the availability of tourism potentials abound in Nigeria, there are no concerted efforts of three tiers of government to tap the opportunities for the common benefit of the populace”.
Ashiru opined that ” by the time these tourism potentials are tapped, the era of unemployment among the young graduates would be a thing of the past and it would boost the revenue generation of the government.
“And, this would assist the nation to witness the socio-economic development and thereby reducing social vices among the teeming youths”.
The lawmaker added that “the development of Kwara South tourist sites is not a unilateral task of any of the organ of government but It is an assignment that will need synergy from all the three tiers of governance.
“Today, a tourist minded organization is empowered by my office to lead a specially constituted group of private interest of about 200 people to Owu Fall.
“The idea is simple; now that the state and the federal government is on the same page on how to develop tourist points in Kwara State, the critical beneficiary of this “efforts” would be the private sector and this is what informed the assemblage of today”.
Also speaking, the tourist entrepreneur, Mrs Jato exuded confidence that she had all that it takes to take on the tourists centres across the state to boost the nation’s economy and also create huge employment opportunities for the residents and other stakeholders based on her huge experience.
She said: “I travelled places as tourist experts across African countries and Dubai and discovered that Nigeria is exceptionally blessed with fantastic natural tourism sites that could make the country a darling place by tourists across the world when given needed attention and as well serve as a good source of foreign earnings for the country”.
“I have the capacity based on my experience to turn these tourists centers to huge investment centers and employment opportunities provided all the needed facilities are in place.
She, therefore, appealed to the government to give serious consideration to the development of outstanding available tourism centres in the state as it can be of a serious source of revenue generation which would serve all and sundry including the host communities.