A member of Osun House of Assembly, Mr Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, representing Obokun State Constituency, has called on government at all levels to invest in tourism and culture to boost the economy and job creation.
Oyintiloye made the call during the 2017 edition of Obokun Festival in Ibokun area of the state.
The lawmaker noted that if proper attention was paid to tourism and culture, it would not only serve as alternate source of income, but also reinforce the fight against social vices.
Oyintiloye, who is the House Committee Chairman on Information and Strategy, said government’s investment in tourism and culture would result in job creation such as tour guide, horticulture, food services, entertainment industry, Craft and Arts productions, waste recycling, among others.
“It is now the prerogative of the government and Nigerians to tap into advantage of these opportunities in the tourism sector”, the lawmaker said.
Oyintiloye who described ‘ Ibokun festival ‘ as a unique culture, called on the state government to focus attention on it to serve as a source of revenue.
The lawmaker, who noted that Obokun cultural value and tourism potentials were enormous, called all stakeholders including sons and daughters of Ibokun at home and in the Diaspora to contribute their quota towards its development.
Oyintiloye, however, commended the state government for developing tourism master plan, which he said had a robust and global outlook.
In her remarks, the Special Adviser to Gov. Rauf Aregbesola on Tourism, Mr Taiwo Oluga, said state government was making frantic effort to make the festival a national as well as international festival.
Oluga said government was passionate about sustainable tourism development towards job and wealth creation.
Also speaking, the Oba Ibokun of Ibokun, Oba Festus Awogboro urged government to encourage the Obokun festival and other cultural festival in the state, adding that they are source of revenue generation for government.
The Obokun festival is one of the traditional festivals being celebrated among the Yoruba people, but peculiar to the people of Ibokun.
It is widely believed among the people of the ancient town that the celebration was in remembrance of its founding father, “Obokun” who was considered a brave warrior and a hero having fought a war and liberated the town from external forces.
The festive period was also considered a period of appeasement to the goddess.