Edo State Commissioner for Arts, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Uyi Oduwa-Malaka, has said that Governor Godwin Obaseki made tourism a major backbone of his reforms, leveraging the state’s rich arts, culture and tourism potential to boost internally generated revenue (IGR) and drive economic development and growth.
The Commissioner said this while speaking during the commemoration of the World Tourism Day (WTD) celebration in the state, which held at the Ogba Zoological Garden and Parks, in Benin City, the state capital, Wednesday, under the theme of; ‘Tourism and Green Investment.’
He explained that the government has prioritised the sector on the back of its enormous economic benefits, the Commissioner said the governor set up a Tourism Agency for effective operationalisation of the tourism sector.
“In Edo, we must lay the praise for our tourism development and budding success at the deserving feet of Governor Godwin Obaseki, who to begin with, made culture and tourism, a major backbone of his seven-point agenda. He soon enough started to unfold his vision by building the Sir Victor Uwaifo Creative hub, the Museum of West African Arts (MOWAA), among other tourism infrastructure.
“We have a very engaging Heritage Policy process in place; engaging stakeholders in matters involving, identification, preservation and protection of our tangible and intangible heritage,” said the commissioner.
Oduwa-Malaka further said the Obaseki-led administration is working with stakeholders to drive traffic to its heritage sites in the State.
“We are partnering with the hospitality industry, security outfits, and film producers. In the last one month, we have been involved in shooting two major films and I understand that about four others are incubating.”
In his keynote address, a tourism expert, Mallam Alasa Hanson Ikhelowa, who applauded the state government, acknowledged the deliberate and well-coordinated steps to develop the tourism sites in the State.
“Many of the tangible assets that abound in different States have not been fully developed. So also the intangible assets should be worked on to turn them into a money spinning venture,” Ikhelowa said