A Nigerian lawmaker has called for preservation of culture and investment in tourism as veritable means of reviving the declining economy.
Olatunbosun Oyintiloye, member of Osun State House of Assembly made this call at the 130th anniversary of the Yoruba Peace Treaty.
The Treaty signifies the end of civil war among the Yoruba nations in Imesi Ile, Obokun Local Government in the State.
The lawmaker maintained that the Kiriji site at Imesi-Ile, where the treaty was signed remains a veritable source of economic development and potential that government should tap into.
He said the significance of the celebration was to re-emphasise the promotion of peace and cooperation for development among Yorubas and Nigeria as a whole.
Peace and Development
Oyintiloye stressed the need to focus on development and called for the institutionalisation of regional integration to sustain peaceful co-existence within the Yoruba nation.
He called for promotion of ideals of peaceful coexistence and harmonious living, maintaining that the message of peace should be embraced by all Nigerians at a time the country is passing through security challenge.
The lawmaker maintained that the Treaty that has lasted about a century possesses lessons and significant values as it left many outstanding landmarks with enormous tourists’ potentials across the region, and urged stakeholders, not just to preserve the history, but to invest in the sector for revenue generation.
Oyintiloye noted that the present recession which blurred the economy presents the opportunity for leaders to re-work and re-tool the economy for self – sustenance,
“Enormous tourism potential in the country is capable of augmenting government earning if properly harnessed.
“Although the Federal Government, in its quick impact assessment and stop gap measure to save the economy has injected over N350 billion basically for infrastructure development, yet, real investment must be made in tourism sector.”
He said sectors such as tourism should be leveraged upon to harness its potential for economic rebound and long-term stability.
The parliamentarian noted that attention must be paid to promotion and creation of an enabling environment, infrastructure and reputation management as well as the perception of the country.
“The way a nation as well as people is seen in the eyes of external public has great capacity to drive and or repel tourism sector”
“For instance, airlines and hospitality industries must surpass other African countries for the nation to make in-roads into the abundant economic opportunities in sector.
“All natural endowments, land marks, historical places and places of attractions which are key selling points of the sector must not be allowed to stand alone, but must be seen as composite in driving the sector for employment generation and foreign exchange earnings”, Oyintiloye said.