Miss Ayodele Awoyemi, Managing Director, Erékéré Travels and Tours, on Monday called on the Federal Government to focus on developing the Ado-Awaye Hanging Lake which is the only hanging lake in Africa.
Awoyemi, who made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said that the tourist site was in a deplorable state, likewise the adjorning roads to the site.
She said the hanging lake if developed would boost the economy of Oyo State where it is located and put the nation on global tourism map.
According to her, being the only hanging lake in Africa and the second globally, Nigerian government ought to leverage on that opportunity to develop the site to attract local and international tourists.
“Government needs to make our work as tour operators easier by renovating most of nation’s tourism sites.
“The Ado-Awaye hanging lake has been left unattended to for years, we are sitting on treasure which should be developed to boost our economy.
“The Ado-Awaye hanging lake must be given priority by the Oyo State Government or the Federal Government to ensure it is well developed to pace up with the one in Colorado in the U. S.,” she said.
NAN reports that the Ado-Awaye hanging lake is situated about 20km West of Iseyin town, Iseyin Local Government Area of Oyo State.
The tourist site has seven natural features which had been creatively coined as the seven wonders of Ado-Awaye: The Elephant tree, Iyake lake, Ese kan Aye Ese kan orun, Ese awon agba, Oke Ishage, Iya Alaro and Agbomofun Iyake.
Each of the landmarks had peculiar historical tales around it.
Awoyemi, who visited the site recently said that all the features the site possessed were all waning off like the seven landmarks which were converted to the 7 wonders of Ado-Awaye.
According to her, most of her tourists lamented over the state of the site which was a bad development and experience for her.
“Visiting Ado-Awaye hanging lake is no longer fun unlike a year ago when tourists still found the place interesting but due to lack of maintenance, it is no longer attractive,” she said.
Also, Mr David Atabo, the community tour guide and destination marketer for the site, said the Ado-Awaye hanging lake had all it takes to project Nigeria as a tourist hub but lacked infrastructural facilities.
He said the community’s members had been responsible for the maintenance of the site with the little generated from visiting tourists.
According to him, this was not enough and government needed to wade into this problem and assist in maintaining the site.
“I have been the tour guide operating in the site for two years now, it is a beautiful place with enriching history but some infrastructure must be put in place.
“The road leading to the site is bad, likewise the seven landmarks in the site should be properly maintained to attract tourists.
“This can be done by the Federal Government or the Oyo State Government, we have only two hanging lakes in the entire world and we are opportune to have one.
“We should make good use of the opportunity to create employment opportunities, boost our economy and enrich ourselves,” he said.
Atabo suggested that the government should provide local hurts in which tourists can rest for days in order to properly explore the site.