Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has unveiled plans to grow domestic tourism by exploring the potentials in the various Local Governments Areas across the State.
As part of efforts to achieve the objective, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi visited Oshodi-Isolo Local Government to explore a synergy between the State and the Local Government in order to fully promote the peculiar culture of the people and ensure maximum implementation of government’s policy on domestic tourism.
She said that some Local Government Councils have been identified for the pilot scheme of Community-based Tourism initiative, including Oshodi-Isolo, stressing that the Ministry will prioritise training and retraining of Tourism Officers at the grassroots to boost tourism in local communities.
Her words: “There is a need to nurture community tourism as the community understands their culture and tourist sites more than anybody. So, in growing domestic tourism, we must carry the Local Councils along, hence the need to train our Tourism Officers and prepare them for the task of identifying tourism potentials at the grassroots”.
“As a pilot scheme, Oshodi-Isolo, Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry, Surulere and Eti-Osa have been chosen, so we need the cooperation of the leadership of these Councils to provide adequate working environment for our Desk Officers that will be sent there”, she stated.
While highlighting the advantages inherent in tourism, the Permanent Secretary averred that if the country’s tourism potentials are well explored and properly harnessed, it would promote inclusiveness and communal living.
Responding, the Vice-Chairman of Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, Mrs. Modupe Badmus-Aregbe, who received the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture’s team on behalf of the Executive Chairman, Otunba Kehinde Almoroof Oloyede, thanked the State Government for including the Council in the pilot scheme, assuring that resources will be provided to assist the tourism officer in the discharge of his or her official duty.
She disclosed that different cultural festivals are celebrated in the Local Government Area such as the annual Egungun, Asa, Oro and Igunnuko festivals as well as the annual Oshodi Day which, according to her, are aimed at preserving the rich cultural heritage of the Council in particular and Lagos State at large.
The Vice-Chairman maintained that the community-based tourism initiative will also benefit the younger ones, who will learn more about their culture and arts, and will not see indigenous culture as inferior to foreign cultures and ways of life.