Home News FG Mulls Private Public Partnership For Development Of Tourist Sites

FG Mulls Private Public Partnership For Development Of Tourist Sites


By Rotimi Ijikanmi

Ilorin –   The Federal Government says it is considering the option of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) for the development of tourists sites across the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this on Sunday when he visited the Owu Water Falls in Owa Onire, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

The Water Falls, which is 120 metres above sea level, is credited to be the highest and most spectacular natural water fall in West Africa and a significant symbol of nature.

Speaking at the site, the minister said the partnership arrangement would be on development of infrastructure around sites to attract tourists and improve the wellbeing of the host communities.

Speaking specifically on the poor state of the road that lead to the Owu water fall, Mohammed said the government would consider a PPP arrangement for the construction and give the option of toll.

“I think people will rather pay a toll of say N100 and get to this location in Owa Onire in 20 minutes from Oke Onigbin rather than spending two hours that we spent to get here.

“With the construction of this road, it will change completely the fortunes of the people of Owa Onire.

“I am told that only one commuter bus plies Owa Onire and the fare is almost equal to when one is travelling from Oke Onigbin to Lagos.

“I am also told that often times, if the people here want to get to Ilorin, they have to sleep in Oke Onigbin overnight.

“I can imagine that if this road is constructed and we say anyone coming here should pay N100 for instance, they will not mind,’’ he said.

The minister, however , said government “will not look at the balance sheet’’ in developing the sites but consider the intangible contribution the development of tourism will bring to the country.

He said the development of infrastructure in the area was important because the host community is entitled to good quality of life even without the natural asset.

He, therefore. promised to put pressure on his colleague in the Federal Executive Council particularly the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola on the construction of the 19 kilometre road to the site.

Speaking on the water falls, the minister said he was “awed by the awesomeness nature of the Almighty.

“I think what I find most exciting is that the louder we shout, the more the volume of the water comes.

“I think this is one of those natural assets that we have been bestowed with and there is no country that has this kind of asset that will not be able to exploit it for economic benefit,’’ he said.

The minister said he was impressed with the Owa Onire community for facilitating the development of the access road through communal efforts and for their kind gesture to tourists.

“I find it exciting that despite the poor infrastructure, tourists are still not discouraged.

“From what we hear, tourists come in their hundreds and the community tries as much as possible to provide them with security, accommodation and the likes,’’ he said.

The Tour guide at the Water Fall, Mr Akande Peter said they have received a large number of tourists and students researchers both from within and outside the country.

“When they come in large number they most times do not have places to sleep so we have to arrange for them at the community Central Mosque, the Oba;s palace and some homes in the community.

On the history of the water falls, he said it is natural water which the community met when their forefather migrated from Oyo because war,

He said the water was discovered by their leader called, Eesa and the noise sign he made upon its discovery “Eesa wu’’ was coined to the name of the fall “Owu’’.

NAN reports that before getting to the site, the minister paid homage to the traditional ruler of the host community, Oba Abdulrahman Fabiyi, the Onire of Owa Onire.

Previous articleBuhari Needs Prayers – Presidency
Next articleEFCC To Re-arrest, Prosecute James Ibori On 170 Count Charges Of Corruption

Leave a Reply