By Taiye Olayemi
Wale Ojo-Lanre, Senior Special Assistant on Tourism Development to Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, has urged intending investors to visit the state as it remains conducive for investment.
Ojo-Lanre made the call while hosting Ayo Olumoko, Vice-President, South West, Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria (FTAN), who led the newly elected members of the Executive Council of FTAN, Ekiti Chapter on a courtesy call in Ado Ekiti.
He said that Ekiti Government was ready and willing to reinforce, assist, support, cooperate and collaborate with FTAN at making sure that the state reaped bountifully and participate judiciously in the global tourism economy.
Ojo-Lanre noted that Gov. Fayemi had planted his name in the tourism history of Ekiti as the most tourism-friendly governor.
He added that throughout his two terms, he had placed Ekiti tourism in the front burner of global relevance and reference.
“Fayemi has created a conducive environment for tourism activities and investment to blossom and thrive.
“Fayemi has within the last 12 months, resuscitated the hitherto moribund Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture and recreated Ekiti State Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism.
“He also appointed a new Commissioner, initiating the legal framework on tourism and also appointed a Senior Special Assistant on tourism development.
“All these are testimonies of his vision at ensuring that tourism economy grows and blossoms in Ekiti,” Ojo-Lanre said in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Sunday.
The senior special assistant said that Fayemi, being a cosmopolitan person believed that tourism was better driven by the private sector.
He noted that the governor was doing everything humanly possible at ensuring a conducive atmosphere for the private sector to reap the dividends of tourism in Ekiti.
Ojo-Lanre said because of these and other factors, the state government heartily welcomed the birth and berth of FTAN in the state as it would spearhead the growth of a solid tourism economy in the state.
He applauded Olumoko for his proactive strides and tenacity of purpose since his election as FTAN vice-president.
In his response, Olumoko commended Gov. Fayemi whom he described as a purpose-driven governor with a heart and soul of getting the best for his people.
He said, “Of all the states in the South-West, Fayemi has distinguished himself as a tourism-friendly governor who understood the import and essence of a fully developed tourism economy.
“I am glad also that Ekiti is having one of the best set of first-grade EXCO members from the academia, practitioners, security and stakeholders.
“I am also confident that with these seasoned and experienced men and women in the industry, Ekiti is set to make a statement in the comity of tourism states,” he said.
Olumoko presented the Executive Council of FTAN in Ekiti chapter as: Dr Oluwole Ajayi, Tourism Management, Special Adviser; Dr Abioye Adedipe, Tourism and Hospitality, Coordinator; Mr Jide Fajuyi, Secretary; Mr Deolu Oyebode, Mobilisation, Communication and Marketing.
Others were: Kolapo Temitope, Assistant MCM; and Busayo Owajoba, State Treasurer.
He noted that these were those who would run the affairs of the association in Ekiti.
He canvassed for a symbiotic relationship between FTAN and the Ekiti State Tourism Development, saying that with a synergy of purpose between the two, tourism business in Ekiti would gain some improvements.
Olumoko noted that FTAN was the only recognised umbrella platform for all tourism and hospitality associations and operators in Nigeria.