In a move to actualise the planned tourism development of Kwara South Senatorial District, Sen. Lola Ashiru, says he has sponsored over 200 tourists and tourism experts on a tour to some historical sites in the area.
Ashiru made this known through his legislative aide, Mr Benjamin Oyinloye, during the visit of some tourists to Esie National Museum and Owu Water Falls, both in Irepodun, and Owa-Onire in Ifelodun Local Government areas of the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team, including student tourists and tourism experts, were sponsored by Ashiru under a Private Public Partnership (PPP) initiative.
The tour initiative was tagged: “Explore Kwara South Tourism Sites”.
NAN reports that most of the student tourists were selected from the University of Ilorin and the Federal Polytechnic, Offa.
The team of experts was led and coordinated by a tourism entrepreneur, who is also the Chief Executive Officer, Ankara Tours, Mrs Yetunde Jato.
Ashiru said that the initiative was geared toward exposing the tourism potential of the district beyond the state.
He said that government alone could not shoulder the enormous responsibility of providing the basic necessities of the populace, hence, the need for PPP to achieve the desired results in the tourism sector.
“We are very optimistic that this initiative will further expose and open the tourism potential of the district to the outside in anticipation of the enormous positive socioeconomic return,” he said.
Addressing the team at Esie National Museum, the Curator, Mrs Mopelola Elizabeth, described the museum established in 1875, as the first of its kind in the country.
Elizabeth listed lack of good roads, inadequate patronage and infrastructure as part of the challenges confronting the museum.
In her remarks, Jato, the CEO Ankara Tours, said the country was richly endowed with economic viable tourism sites and monuments, if well harnessed and developed.
According to her, she has been in the toursim bussiness for a while and has travelled and participated in many tourism projects across Africa and Middle-East.
“Nigeria is richly blessed as far as tourism is concerned and our partnership with Sen. Ashiru is to fully explore and expose these potential for our economic benefits,” she said.
The tour, Jato said, was to have a first hand knowledge of the status, operations and challenges confronting the essential monument sites, spread across the district.
She had also advocated for the establishment of a University of History and Archaeology at the Esie National Museum to boost the tourism sector in the country.
NAN recalled that Ashiru had earlier led a team comprising officials, stalwarts and members of the All Progressive Congress (APC) to some of the tourism sites in August.