Oyo State Government has said that it has begun the packaging of the many firsts in the State into a viable educational – tourism concept tagged Pace Setter Tourism.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT), Mr. Toye Arulogun said this last week during the inaugural meeting of the Pace Setter Tourism Committee which included representatives of the many firsts in either Nigeria or Africa such as University of Ibadan, Nigerian Television Authority, Liberty Stadium, University College Hospital, Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, National Commission for Museums and Monuments, and Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital.
Arulogun explained that the state government having identified these and many others, is ready to package, promote and partner the various establishments in propagating and celebrating the cultural tourism potentials in the state, adding that a packaged tour of the many firsts in the state will serve as the vehicle to educate students, scholars and researchers about the rich historical and cultural heritage of the state.
He noted that Oyo state is truly a blessed state as the home of many pioneering establishments, saying that the government is partnering with them to celebrate and promote her pace setting status.
The government’s spokesperson added that the essence of the Committee is to develop a tourism package for Oyo State, stressing that Oyo State, being the cradle of many firsts, would be used to rekindle the sense and teaching of history in the huge student population in the State and the country in general.
Speaking after the meeting, the representative of University of Ibadan (UI) Prof. Gbolagade Lamidi said that the Premier University in Nigeria is ready to collaborate with Oyo State government and play a crucial role of providing documentation of all the firsts within the state to aid the committee’s job.
He stated that with the caliber of participating institutions, different aspects of tourism would be highlighted and well packaged and consequently urged the state government to be committed to the project so as to make it as another source of generating revenue.
In his own view, one of the representatives of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), the forest research institute in Nigeria, Dr. Meduna A. J. said that the country has no alternative than to explore tourism, explaining that other African countries are making use of the tourism potentials in their territories to develop their countries.
He described the action of the state government as laudable, pledging that FRIN would be part of the programme that will serve as an opportunity to educate the younger ones about eco-tourism.
The representative of the first television station in Africa, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Busayo Ademiluyi said that the programme would lead to the diversification of the economy.
In his own address, the representative of Adeoyo Maternity Teaching Hospital, the first maternity hospital in Nigeria, Dr. Adeyanju Olusoji said that history is very important, saying that the programme has multi benefits for the state government, participating institutions, schools, parents and students.
According to him, “the present government is the state is here to make history and turns things around in the state. The pacesetter tourism is a laudable approach and everyone should buy into it. I want to suggest that Edu-tourism should be included in the education curriculum of secondary schools in the country.”
Mr. Busayo Oladiji from University College Hospital (UCH), the first teaching hospital in Nigeria, described the programme as a good initiative which needs proper documentation and segmentation vis-à-vis- health, education, sports amongst others, stating that the UCH was designed in a unique architectural way that pupils/students who visit could learn from.
Speaking at the meeting, the representative of Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, IAR&T, Moor Plantation, Ibadan, Mr. Niyi Hamzat lauded government’s initiative at promoting institutions in the state.
He said the project would further clear the air on many misrepresentations about the first tertiary institution in Nigeria, noting that Moor Plantation was the first tertiary institution in Nigeria, which was then known as School of Agriculture and established in 1921.