World Tourism Day: The AbdulRazaqs and their quest for tourism development in Kwara – Usman Lade

Get more connected to the real facts

By Usman Lade

As the world celebrates World Tourism Day with the theme, ‘RETHINKING TOURISM’, this year’s commemoration is an opportunity to reflect and celebrate the efforts of the leadership of the Kwara State Government in its dedication and commitment to repositioning the shape of tourism in the State toward meeting people’s quest for pleasure and economic prosperity.

Tourism can therefore be seen as a composite of activities, services, and industries that delivers travel experience to individuals and groups traveling 100 kilometers or more from their homes for purposes of pleasure.

According to the World Tourism Organisation, “Tourists are people who travel to and stay in places outside their usual environments for more than 24 hours and not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes not related to exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited.”

The Governor of Kwara State AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq and the First Lady Amb. Olufolake AbdulRazaq have both demonstrated their commitment and quest to the development of tourism in the State through their various interventions, investment, and promotion of the tourist attraction centres in the State.

Ambassador Olufolake AbdulRazaq in her attempt to promote tourism in the State recently visited some tourist centres. Some of the existing monument and tourism centres in the State visited by the First Lady include the marvelous Owu waterfalls in Ifelodun Local Government Area; Dada pottery and Aso-Ofi weaving Hub, Sobi Hills, and the University of Ilorin zoological garden.

However, there is no denying the fact that major investment is being made in the tourism industry throughout the State since the assumption of Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in 2019 as Governor of the State. His commitment and continued investment in the tourism sector in both infrastructural and human capital development has been regarded as one of its kind since the creation of the State in 1967.

The significance of tourism development in protecting both natural and man-made contents cannot be over-estimated, especially in the preservation and protection of several historic, archaeological and cultural destinations from destruction due to its positive utilization in such areas.

Some of the tourism infrastructural developments embarked upon by this administration included the soon-to-be-completed Ilorin Visual Arts Centre, which when completed, will house a Dolby studio, and a gallery where the artworks of both famed and upcoming artists will be displayed and also serve as a collection bank of artistic works.

The administration is also building a Sugar Film Factory which will provide an avenue for aspiring filmmakers and creatives to have access to world-class sound stages for TV/film production at affordable rates, attracting big production companies to come and shoot in Kwara.

In a bid to also create a go-to leisure place in the state capital and to reduce the annual human pressure on the Kwara Mall (Shoprite) during every festive period in the State, the Governor recently approved the beautification of Flower Garden in Ilorin as part of his efforts to make the place a beautiful recreational centre for residents of the state.

The flower garden, which will be a replica of the popular Agodi Garden in Ibadan, Oyo state when completed, would promote the look of the garden, as a green area for relaxation and healthy social interaction for one and all.

With Kwara becoming the fastest growing state in the North Central geo-political zone with so much interest from international and other prominent national organizations making the state a new destination to host their conferences, summits, and workshops amongst others, the administration of AbdulRazaq is building a two in one gold-standard facility that will make Kwara a go-to place for tourism, resort, and conference in Nigeria.

The state-of-the-art-centre will also in turn create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, and attract better attention to the state when completed.

Other digital and tourism infrastructures initiated by this administration are Ilorin Innovation Hub, Digital Literacy Centres, and the reconstruction of Esie Museum road, Irepodun Local Government Area of the State.

Recall that the Governor during the last Ilorin Durbar said his administration is taking steps to institutionalise such cultural events and treat them as tourist attraction for the state. Some of these events include Ijakadi Festival, Offa; Awon Mass Wedding, Shao; Gani Festival, Borgu Kingdom, and Regatta Fishing Festival, Patigi.

In his commitment to making this a reality, the Governor said: “From next year, preparations for it would be captured in the budget, and organizers and the affected ministry will have to go through the traditional budget defense at the House of Assembly.”

The quest of the AbdulRazaqs towards tourism development in the State is beyond dependence on the monthly Federal Allocation to boost the revenue generation for the state, hence, identifying tourism as one of the key sectors to explore for economic gain and prosperity.

Please Post Your Comments & Reviews

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *