The Director-General of the National Population Commission, Dr. Telson Osifo Ojogun, has commended Governor Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji of Ekiti State for his efforts to promote tourism and ensure the security of lives and property in the state.
The Director General gave the commendation when he visited Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, on Saturday.
Ojogun was in the state with some commissioners, officials and staff of the commission on a state assessment in preparation for the impending census.
He described Ekiti State as a “natural bundle of tourism tucked in the rainforest of South West Nigeria, blessed with fantastic hospitable and awesomely pleasant people who are being governed by pro-people and pro-development Governor Biodun Oyebanji”.
During his visit, the Director-General and his entourage, including Deji Ajayi, a former Head of Service in Ekiti State, who is a Commissioner of the NPC, had the opportunity to explore several tourists attractions in Ekiti State such as Ikogosi Warm Springs and Arinta Waterfalls, which was packaged by the newly-created Bureau of Tourism Development, were visibly impressed by the natural beauty and cultural heritage of these sites.
They recognised their potential to attract both domestic and international tourists.
Ojogun at the Ikogosi Warm Spring expressed his admiration for Governor Oyebanji’s commitment to developing the tourism sector in Ekiti State.
He acknowledged the significant investments made by the state government to improve infrastructure around these sites such as the construction of access roads, parking facilities and visitor centres, adding: “These efforts have undoubtedly made it more convenient and enjoyable for tourists to explore Ekiti’s unique offerings.”
The Director-General also highlighted the importance of security in attracting tourists.
He commended Oyebanji for prioritising safety and ensuring a conducive environment for tourists to visit and explore the state.
He noted that Ekiti State’s efforts in this regard would significantly boost the confidence of tourists and encourage more people to visit and experience the state’s rich culture and natural wonders.
Dr. Ojogun emphasised the economic benefits of tourism for Ekiti State.
He noted that a thriving tourism industry can create jobs, foster economic growth and enhance the overall well-being of the local community.
He pointed out that by attracting tourists, “Ekiti can generate revenue that can be reinvested into the development of other sectors such as education, healthcare and infrastructure”.
Reinforcing Dr. Ojogun’s position, Dayo Olujekun, Deputy General Manager, Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort, who welcomed the DG and his entourage to the tourism sites, informed that his company, Glocient Hospitality, has invested millions of naira in upgrading the site, which was in abject state.
He specially thanked Oyebanji for his immeasurable support for the company in Ekiti State, adding that without it, “we could not have gone so far to this state within 12 months.
“Governor Oyebanji has been so supportive and wonderful in his determination that Ikogosi is turned into a sustainable Eldorado.”
Olujekun disclosed to the DG and his delegation that Glocient has given direct employment to over 151 Nigerians in the ratio of 95 percent of Ekiti State and 5 percent of non-Ekiti and indirect employment to 95 others in the value chain of engagement and “we are still adding more as you can see that renovation is still ongoing”.
Earlier, Ojogun and his delegation had a jolly romance with Mother Nature at the Arinta Waterfall, where he noted the operator’s efforts at upscaling the site without having an uncontrollable impact on the environment.
He said: “Arinta is a lovely waterfall.
“We are here with nature.
“I am delighted to be here.
“I fell in love with this Ikogosi-Ipole Iloro-Arinta waterfall corridor.
“It offers a scenic view that the eyes cannot delete in their memory.
“I commend the management of this site for applying sustainable ethics in his efforts to uplift the site.”
At the close of the tour, Dr. Ojogun applauded Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre, the DG, Ekiti State Bureau of Tourism Development, and his team for offering an excellent tour package, which he described as clinically professional that “limited our speed below 45km per hour”.
Officials of the NPC who enjoyed the bliss of Ekiti tourism were Innua Jalingo, Husanu Alh. Isupaku, Arukwe G. Ngozi, Olanipekun Arinola, Ahmed Kumo, Amoo Azeez, Tony Ofili, Adeyemi Eunice F, Akin Ariyo, Amohoidu Sunday, Oladele Timothew, M. Ipinlaye, Afolabi Idowu F, Akogun Olamide and Adeusi Comfort.
In his remark, Ojo-Lanre said the visit to tourism sites in Ekiti State by the NPC DG and his delegation is a testament to Governor Oyebanji’s commendable efforts in promoting tourism and ensuring security, which are signals for others to visit the state and explore its numerous lovely tourism sites.
He said: “Ekiti is lovely.
“Come, visit Ekiti and feed your eyes with evergreen memories of wonderful sites.
“The Bureau of Tourism Development, Ekiti State will offer you an excellent tour package.
“Ekiti tourism beckons.”