Oyo can generate N800m annually from tourism — Expert

Oyo State has more that 120 tourism sites through which it can generate about N800 million annually if the sector’s potentials are harnessed properly, according to a tourism expert, Mr Thompson Ukeki.

Ukeki told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Ibadan that the development of these sites could create employment opportunities and attract more tourists to the state.

He said that the state could partner local and international firms in line with its public-private partnership policy to develop dilapidated monuments and tourist sites in the state.

The tourism expert listed some of the tourism sites as Captain Bower Tower at Oke-Are, Sogidi Lake in Awe-Oyo, suspended lake in Ado-Awaiye, Agbele Rock in Igbeti, and Asabari hills in Saki.

Ukeki, Founder of ‘The Cooking Quest’, an organisation that engages youths in cultural activities to revitalise culture, said that the importance of culture could not be over-emphasised.

He said that The Cooking Quest would in October host a Reality TV Show tagged ‘The Noodles Ultimate Search’ in Ibadan to boost the tourism sector.

“We believe in Nigeria culture and tourism, and we want to use this medium of the show to redirect the vigor in the country’s culture and tourism industry.

“We believe that the show will add more cultural values into the Nigerian youth lives; we are hosting it in Ibadan because this is where the entertainment industry began.

“This is the first cooking competition strictly for noodles and African dishes.

“But this cooking reality show will bring entertainment, cultural value, health and nutritional benefits to the youth,” he said.

According to him, the event is targeted at people aged between 18 years and 40 years, while the auditioning of the show will be done online across the federation.

“The show, which will last for three weeks, will be judged by capable judges and market women in entertainment industry.

“The auditioning will begin this month, the event will be sponsored by over six companies, including Indomie noodles, Studio24, Heritage Cinema, Domino(eatngo).

“The show will be broadcasted live for 21 days on Gotv, Dstv and Startimes channels.

“We believe in this kind of show because it will add value to the nation, it is not the kind that will abuse our sensibilities,” he said. (NAN)