Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has called on governments at all levels to use the diversification from oil and gas to develop local produce to rescue the country from the current economic recession.
Speaking at the World Tourism Day celebration in Iseyin, tagged ‘Aso-Ofi Day’, the governor, who was represented by his wife, Mrs Florence Ajimobi, said that identifying and developing local produce as well as tourism potentials would help to grow the economy and attract foreign investments.
According to him, “Tourism is one of the most effective means of growing the economy because attracting tourists will eventually translate into investments. This becomes more important especially at a period like this when we are grappling with the effects of recession and looking for revenue other than crude oil.”
Ajimobi said that the effective and efficient use of ‘Aso-Ofi’ is a cultural-tourism potential which should be used to develop the economy of the state and develop Iseyin town as a whole and Oyo State in general.
The governor also acknowledged that the traditional Aso-Ofi had attained a status of both national and international importance and widely accepted as the fabric of choice for traditional occasions and majority of social events.
In his speech, the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun, noted that the ‘Aso-Ofi Day’ became imperative because the state government found it needful to harness tourism potentials in every local government in the state.
In his address, the Aseyin of Iseyin Land, Oba AbdulGaniyu Adekunle, Ologunebi, appealed to the state government not to relent in its efforts at resuscitating the dying Aso-Ofi industry, noting that, “it is an age-long fabric which has long been neglected by past administrations in the state.”
While speaking, Iseyin Local Government Chairman, Mr Saheed Alaran, declared the local government’s readiness to synergise and collaborate with the state government for a renewed local, national and global patronage of the locally fabricated textile from Iseyin.
Alaran, however, decried the deteriorating state of culture in the state, which he noticed has given way to the foreign culture.
Dr Paula Gomes, the Cultural Ambassodor to Alaafin of Oyo, commended the people of Iseyin for the creativity displayed with Aso-Ofi during the event.
In his recommendations, Professor Dele Olayiwola, the guest lecturer at the maiden edition of the Aso-Ofi day celebration, enjoined government to help in creating a modernised weaver’s loom which could be automated rather than the manual technology, which he described as laborious.
Among the dignitaries at the event are the wife of the deputy governor of Oyo State, Mrs Janet Adeyemo; the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba AbdulGaniyu Salau; the Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola; the Onjo of Okeho, Oba Rafiu Osuolale Mustapha; Onitede of Tede, Oba Rauf Adebimpe Oladoyin; Olugbo of Igbojaye, Oba Oladimeji Olatunji.