An Ibadan Chief, Ajia Balogun Olubadan, Chief Adegboyega Adegoke has retraited the need for government at all levels to diversify into hospitality and tourism sector for improve economic growth and development.
As he also implored governments to show more commitment into improving the sector in order to tap inherent benefits from it, saying there is an urgent need for them to develop the nation’s huge hospitalty and tourism potentials for economic development.
He made the call during the commissioning of his new hospitality edifice, Channel 8 Premium Hotel located Bamijo Street, off Ladoke Akintola Street, Bodija, Behind Ikolaba Police Station.
The hotel was commissioned by the former governor of Oyo state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja. Others in attendance were former Senate Leader and Chairman Senate Committee on Local content, Senator Teslim Folarin, a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Adebisi Olopoenia, the wife of late Ibadan strong politician, Alhaja Bose Adelabu.
Others are former Speaker Oyo state House of Assembly, Hon Adeolu Adeleke, Barrister Lowo Obisesan, Yinka Taiwo, Hon Gbade Oduola, Mogaji Jelili Adanla, Alhaji Lukman Gbadamosi, Primate Olasoji Bakare, Chief Wale Aribi, Hon Kehinde Subair, Hon Murphy Adigun, Mogaji Aboderin, Hon Bimbo Adepoju and others.
Adegoke, who is the Executive Director, OES Energy Services Limited and its subsidiaries, while describing hospitality and tourism as goldmine waiting to be tapped, maintaining that it is high time for government to diversify from petroleum to hospitality and tourism, which is the sole source of economy of some great Nations.
According to him, “the commissioning of this hospitality edifice is a demonstration of what we are preaching, I am into oil and gas but to demonstrate that we are serious about diversification, and that’s what we are doing today.
“So, government at all levels should explore all the potentials in hospitality and tourism for economic development and growth.
“Hospitality and Tourism is a multifaceted and multidimensional activity. It is not just about fun, it is business and government should look at the business aspect. It makes more money than most other industries.
“Saudi Arabia has more oil than Nigeria, but what Saudi gets from ‘religious tourism’ is unquantifiable. I have been to China, there is a place call Old City where their Emperor used to stay, they have turned it around and they make huge money from it, also Dubai’s economy depend on hospitality and these countries are doing better than Nigeria.
“I want us to join hands to improve and invest into hospitality and tourism because oil is finishing.Nigeria is rich in tourism sector that can yield good return on investment.
“Every state should develop it’s hospitality, tourism and culture, rather than wait for stipend from federal government, they can actually make lots of money from those sectors.
Every local government area you go in Nigeria, particularly in Oyo State, there is an investible hospitality and tourist potential, they are consumed at source.
“Those sites, like hills, historical structures and other natural habitat cannot be moved to other location, putting hospitality office into areas will boost economy of those areas and the local communities will always benefit if the potentials are well taped.
“It is the only viable alternative to oil and government should place more priority on hospitality, tourism and culture.
“Many countries which Nigeria is even more endowed than are earning immense benefits from hospitality and tourism. Nigeria is so endowed in that sector, looking at the cultural diversity and the natural environment.’
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