By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
Alado of Ado Awaye kingdom in Oyo State, Oba Reverend Ademola Olugbile Folakanmi has disclosed that the state government is committed to promoting Iyake festival into international tourism standard.
Oba Folakanmi said this in Ibadan during a press conference held at the Alado Hall, National Museum of Unity in Ibadan ahead of the forthcoming third edition of the Iyake international festival scheduled to hold November 14 to 16 in Ado-Awaye, Oyo State.
He said, ” Iyake suspended lake is the only natural suspended lake in the world known for its healing power while affirming that it was recently rated third among the Nigeria wonders, and the most famous tourist centre in the state”
“The festival is meant to create a foremost brand of tourism in Oyo State, Nigeria and the African continent and to showcase many of the outstanding endowments in Ado mountain, the only natural suspended lake in the world, the Iyake lake and to significantly increase investments in infrastructures around and within Ado Awaye through robust Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement”, he said.
Oba Folakanmi added, ” The 2023 Iyake festival is important as the planning committee is working towards externalising the festival scope to neighboring countries like Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory coast.
“Iyake Suspended Lake is among the wonders of the world, being the only natural suspended lake in the world. The lake is more appealing for its splendor, myths and arrays of natural wonders surrounding it. It is believed to be bottomless as nobody has ever dived to its end and come back”.
The Alado of Ado Awaye then urged Oyo State Government to explore the Iyake Lake in order to improve the state revenue generation, improve foreign exchange earnings, attract local and foreign investors and create wealth for the local community people.
“Iyake Suspended Lake is highly suitable for nature oriented activities such as camping, hiking, nature/ethnic culture, wild life, mountaineering, mountain climbing competition and nature photography. The lake has the potential of generating over 30% of the state Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) if well developed and managed. The Governor has promised to identify five festivals within the five zones of Oyo State to adopt as state projected shows and cultural days under his Omituntun 2:0 Agenda”.
Speaking further, the royal father said the festival will strategically place Ado Awaye among the choicest destinations for tourists in the state and promote the cultural heritage of Oyo State, Nigeria and the African Continent.
While appreciating Gov Seyi Makinde for separating the Ministry of Culture and Tourism from the Ministry of Information, affirming that it is the beginning of a new dawn for tourism development in the state, Oba Folakanmi lauded the efforts of the Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun, Honorable Jelili Oyinloye, the Executive chairman of Iwajowa local government, Chief Tunde Odunlade, Ambassador Wale Ojo Lanre, Oba Awurela of Brazil, partners and lovers of culture and tourism among others for their spirited effort in ensuring the development of the tourism endowments and development in Nigeria.
Speaking, the Chairman of Iwajowa Local Government Area, Hon Jelili Oyinloye said the upcoming Iyake international festival will improve the economic development of the state, affirming that the local government is ready to collaborate with the state government towards the success of the 3rd edition of the Iyake International festival.
Hon Oyinloye stressed that the Iyake Lake when fully utilized would serve as a tourist center source of employment opportunity for the people of Oke-ogun and Oyo State in general.