OSUN State government, over the weekend, said it was developing various indigenous festivals in the state to levels to international standard as part of the strategies to explore alternative sources of revenues.
It maintained that festivals have the capacities to draw and ignite international audience participation that could translate to huge revenues for development purposes.
The Special Adviser Information and Strategy, Mr Semiu Okanlawon, stated this in Iwo at the palace of Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi during the 2017 Egungun festival in the city.
Okanlawon, while stating the position of the government on the need to raise alternative sources of revenues, said already, experiences have shown that Nigeria is in the throes of economic hardship adding that the Governor Rauf Aregbesola administration had been futuristic enough to know that oil revenues can no longer be the basis of the state’s future development plans.
According to him, “We are lucky in Osun to have a government that is proactive enough to know that oil is drying up and that explains all the ingenious strategies developed by the Aregbesola administration to satisfy workers’ needs and ensure development continues within the limit of the state’s meagre resources”.
“This government is serious about its development of tourism which is a huge revenue earner. And this is why this government is committing itself to the development of these local and indigenous festivals such as the Egungun Festival in Iwo here to one that is capable of attracting international audience participation,” Okanlawon stated.
He said this determination informed the government’s resolve to renovate the popular Osun Osogbo groove and seen to the development of Olojo Festival in Ile Ife and other such festivals in the state.
The Special Adviser also urged indigenes to also look inward for possible business opportunities that the various festivals offer as this could also enhance personal fortunes.
Okanlawon noted that Aregbesola’s administration massive infrastructure projects were also part of the avenues to make the state attractive to tourists, stressing that “we are aware some people query this government’s unwavering commitment to completing the projects even in the face of paucity of funds. We do not blame them. It is our duty to carry them along in the development strategies”.
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