By Taiye Olayemi
Lagos, Oct. 19, 2020 Ekiti Youth Parliament has commended Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti for pursuing a sustainable tourism policy aimed at economic empowerment, employment generation and boosting the financial capacity of residents of the state.
The Speaker of the group, Mr Toba Fatunla, gave the commendation in a statement made available to newsmen on Monday.
According to the statement, Fatunla gave the commendation in a speech delivered in Ado Ekiti on Sunday as a Guest Speaker at Team Ekiti Tourism Development Convergence held at Olota hills.
The programme was organised by the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Tourism Development in conjunction with Ekiti Youth Parliament in celebration of Fayemi’s two years into his four-year second term tenure.
The theme of the Convergence was: “Harnessing Ekiti State Tourism Potentialities for Empowerment and Socio-Economic Development” with sub-theme: “Ekiti Youth for JKF Tourism Vision”.
Fatunla lauded Fayemi for his proactive sensibility of identifying the youth as a potent force and agent of planting, germination and blossoming of his tourism vision for the state.
“I must sincerely commend Gov. Kayode Fayemi for acknowledging and recognising the youth of Ekiti not only as partners in progress and necessary collaborators at driving his tourism policy, but as co-policy formulators whose views must be sought in respect of tourism policy making in the state,” he said.
Fatunla assured the governor of the readiness of Ekiti youths at keying perfectly into his tourism vision.
He mentioned seven thematic areas which the youth could be of immense help to the state through, social media strategy, tourism market strategy, ambassadorial status and youth tourism formation.
He listed other areas as: youth tourism enterprises, youth tourism infrastructure development and youth monitoring and evaluation of tourism projects in the state.
Mr Ade Peculiar, Tourism Promoter, `Discover Ekiti’, commended Fayemi for creating a conducive atmosphere for tourism businesses to grow and for ensuring the appointment of professionals to oversee the sector.
He recalled that the governor’s tourism policy had led to the global acceptance and embrace of `Hike Ekiti Mountains’ as an international adventure.
He said this was an event which the governor inaugurated in April 2019 and the opening up of other hiking mountains like Olosunta Hills in Ikere and Abanijorin Mountain in Iyin-Ekiti.
Peculiar mentioned various opportunities that were waiting for Ekiti youths to be tapped in the tourism sector and called upon them to always think out of the box to make money from tourism.
He commended the Senior Special Assistant to Gov. Kayode Fayemi, Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre, for his creative energy and super ability to organise the Convergence on Olota Hills, Ado Ekiti.
Earlier, Ojo-Lanre listed the achievements of Gov. Fayemi in the last two years which included the resuscitation of the hitherto moribund Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture.
“Hosting of the 2019 EKIFEST after four years of being in the doldrums; sponsorship of Ekiti State Standing Performing Troupe to Budapest, Hungary in Nov. 2019 and the recreation of Ekiti State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism in December 2019.
“The facilitation of Ekiti delegation to Rio De Janeiro Carnival, Brazil to market Ekiti tourism in February 2020; appointment and injection of 32 professional artistes into the Arts Council; and the passing of Ekiti State Tourism Law.
“Also, the creation of the Office of the Senior Special Assistant on Tourism and appointment of Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre; and the inauguration of the process for the formulation of Ekiti State Tourism Master Plan.
“Releasing of COVID-19 palliatives to hoteliers; the discovery of three natural tourism sites and the latest unveiling of Ekiti State Performing Art Company,” he said.
Ojo-Lanre noted that the governor had tasked his office to ensure the involvement of youths, tourism stakeholders and practitioners in promoting, marketing and enhancement of tourism development in the state.
He said that his office deliberately picked Olota Hills for the Convergence for `JKF-2 @ 2’ Tourism developments so as to showcase and project its beauty as a hill where people could gain a panoramic view of Ado Ekiti.
He specially thanked one of the guests, Alhaji Dauda Lawal, a Community Development Expert, for believing in the tourism vision of Fayemi.
The Custodian of Olota Hills, Chief Ogunojo Aduloju, commended the governor for his policy on value reorientation, cultural rejuvenation and tourism enhancement.
Aduloju said this was paving ways for the promotion of cultural and tourism sites for wealth creation in the state.