From Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has said his administration is in talks with the private sector to develop the natural suspended lake at Ado-Awaye into an international tourist site like the artificial Hanging Lake in the US state of Colorado.
He made the disclosure on Monday during the commemoration of the Year 2021 World Tourism Day at the Suspended Lake, Iyake Hill, Ado-Awaye, Iseyin Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Makinde, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Tourism, Akeem Ige, stated that work would begin on the development of the site as soon as the government concluded talks with the private sector. He added that his administration has been fixing infrastructure that will attract tourists to the state, including the completed reconstruction of a 70-kilometre road that links Ibadan, the state capital, with Iseyin. Ado-Awaye is about 10 minutes drive from Iseyin in the Oke-Ogun area of the state.
‘Oyo State is ready to use tourism to drive the economy of the state, especially this Ado-Awaye Suspended Lake. It is the only one we have in the world. There is no going back. This government will start doing something about it soon. We would have started last year, but COVID-19 affected a lot of things. Tourism is one of the most affected sectors of the economy in Oyo State at the peak of coronavirus that ravaged the whole world,’ he said.
The Chairman, Iseyin Local Government, Mufutau Abilawon, who commended Makinde for the turnaround infrastructural development of the state, said the choice of ‘this wonder of nature at Ado-Awaye for the commemoration of the Year 2021 World Tourism Day is a bold step at projecting the rich tourism potentials that abound in this local government areas to the global community. Today’s event, no doubt, shall put Ado-Awaye Suspended Lake on the global tourism map.’
The Alado of Ado-Awaye, Oba Ademola Olugbile Folakanmi, who I the anchor for the Vision for Redemption and Development (VRD), noted that ‘the bulk of tourist sites are in the rural areas in Nigeria and tourism is now seen as a veritable tool for job opportunities and wealth creation among the youth and women, who form a large population of our agricultural workforce.’
The founder of American Polytechnic of Nigeria, Dr Oludare Akande, also said the private sector would provide the necessary support for the government for the potentials of the lake to be fully developed, adding that consideration should be given to five-star hotels, perimeter fencing of the hill that houses the lake, improvement of security architecture in the area, elevators and cable cars, as well as tapping into the opportunities embedded in the aviation sector to fully harness the potentials of the lake.
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