By Dipo Olowookere
Oyo State Governor, Mr Abiola Ajimobi, has laid the foundation of the 13.5 hectares Aso Ofi International Tourism Market at Iseyin, saying that the state was ready to partner genuine investors to preserve its historical sites, artefacts and monuments.
The Governor, who performed the foundation laying ceremony at the weekend during the second edition of Aso Ofi festival in Iseyin area of the state, added that the partnering investors would also manage and develop new tourist sites.
Mr Ajimobi, represented by his deputy, Mr Moses Adeyemo, noted that Oyo State is endowed with rich diverse cultures and a wide variety of indigenous festivals such as Sango and Oranyan in Oyo Town, Oke-Badan in Ibadan, Beere in Saki, Olele in Ogbomoso, among others as well as beautiful landscapes which include Ado-Awaye Suspended Lake, Oke-Badan Hill in Ibadan, Igbo-Oba Royal Forest in Igboho, Iya Mapo Hill in Igbeti and other numerous species of flora and fauna with their scenic values.
He observed that most of these tourist sites are yet to be fully maximized to generate revenue, saying “It is therefore our duty to identify, plan, package and market them for overall development of the State.
The concept of the Aso-Ofi festival is to celebrate Aso-Ofi, one of the State’s Tourism products, towards propagating this unique indigenous textile material globally and promote the youth empowerment agenda of this administration as one of the solutions to the present economic challenges facing the country.
“To this end, youths should be encouraged to learn this trade without waiting for white collar jobs that are not always there; farmers should be encouraged to grow the cotton trees as part of agricultural agenda in the State to boost our indigenous textile industry.
“We are here today to fulfill the promise made by my administration during last year Aso-Ofi celebration to the good people of Iseyin that an International Tourism Market will be established in this town known universally as the cradle of Aso-Ofi.
“We are lending credence to our pace setting status by laying the foundation of the first ever market to combine a museum with other tourism features here in Iseyin. We appreciate the support of the good people of Iseyin in particular and Oyo State in general for your continuous support for this administration since its inception over six years ago as well as your collaborative efforts in the transformation agenda of our government,” the Governor added.
Mr Ajimobi stressed that the state is making frantic efforts to make Oyo State a haven for tourists to appreciate the numerous Cultural and Tourism entities that abound in the State, noting “since we came on board, our transformation agenda has been vigorously pursued and we have been engaging in the revitalization of all indices of development in the State.”
In his welcome address, Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun explained that the 13.5 Hectares Aso-Ofi International Tourism Market will contain 500 weaving sheds/workshops, 500 exhibition shops, a warehouse, 1st indigenous textile museum in Nigeria, a fire station, a clinic and a police station, pointing out that Aso-Ofi festival was conceptualized to showcase and celebrate our locally made fabric that is now an internationally accepted brand.
Mr Arulogun noted that the first edition of Aso Ofi recorded huge success as financial institutions, Exports promotion agencies, private and corporate organisations have been having serious and genuine engagements with the aso-Ofi weavers and marketers in the state.
He assured that the state would not relent in its cultural tourism drive in order to make it as one of the mainstreams of the economy of the state.
The 2017 Aso Ofi day festival was witnessed by top government officials from the state led by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Lekan Alli, Members of the National Assembly, members Oyo State House of Assembly led by the Deputy Speaker, Mr AbdulWasiu Musa, traditional rulers including the representative of the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, the Aseyin of Iseyin, Oba Abdulganiyu Adekunle Salau, the Eleruwa of Eruwa, Oba Samuel Adegbola, Onjo of Okeho, Oba Rafiu Osuolale, Religious, Community and market leaders, Aso Ofi weavers and marketers from Ibadan, Ilorin and Abeokuta as well as prominent sons and daughters of Iseyin.
Wakanow, ValueJet to Boost Local Flight Inventory
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A partnership aimed to boost local flight inventory has been entered into between Wakanow and ValueJet.
According to a statement from the foremost travel tech company, the deal allows Wakanow to host ValueJet’s inventory on its website and increase local flight inventory available to local travellers.
ValueJet is the latest airline to partner with Wakanow, joining its network and enabling Wakanow-connected customers to find and use bespoke solutions to support their specific travel needs and requirements.
The deal aligns with Wakanow’s aim of delivering access to all local flight inventory in real time and an all-year-round flight schedule. It also showcases its continuous commitment to the development of the domestic travel industry in Nigeria.
“As the foremost travel tech company in Nigeria and West Africa, this partnership for us is a reinforcement of our commitment to give our customers the best and to remain the number one distribution partner to our Nigerian Airlines.
“We are constantly innovating around our customers’ travel needs and partner with relevant stakeholders to ensure that our customers enjoy a robust and seamless service offering.
“Partnering with ValueJet, who share in our vision of delivering a unique travel experience at a great value to our joint customers, was certain,” the chief executive of Wakanow Nigeria, Mrs Adenike Macaulay, said.
While corroborating the CEO, the Group Chief Technology Officer of Wakanow Group, Mr Oyedeji Ojo, said, “Wakanow, as a leader in the Nigerian travel industry, has continued to bring value to air travellers through collaborations.
“We’re delighted to welcome ValueJet as a Partner, and together, we will serve our customers with great flight inventories and concentrate on creating enhanced traveller experiences across all customer touchpoints.”
On his part, the Chief Commercial Officer of Value Jet, Mr Trevor Henry, said, “We are happy to announce our strategic partnership with Wakanow, making history as the first travel company to provide ValueJet’s Live Inventory bookable in real-time, thus enabling the delivery of a seamless booking experience for Wakanow and ValueJet’s customers.”
Wakanow, Africa’s foremost travel tech agency, offers the best travel deals and experiences within the global travel industry to corporate and individual air travellers.
Normalcy Restored at Lagos Airport as Aviation Workers Suspend Strike
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Normalcy was restored at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos on Monday afternoon after workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc disrupted flight operations this morning.
The aviation workers had embarked on an indefinite strike action to ask for a better welfare package from the management of the company.
Their action left many air passengers stranded on Monday morning, with operators suspending their flights in the process.
But the industrial action was later called off by the leaders of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, which promised to enter into talks with NAHCO, with a view to resolving the matter.
The aggrieved employees of NAHCO asked the management to increase their salaries after hike air fares by 100 per cent. They claimed that the company was being insensitive to their welfare.
NAHCO Workers’ Strike Paralyses Flight Operations At Lagos Airport
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Activities at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos, were paralysed on Monday after some employees of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc embarked on an industrial action.
The NAHCO workers protested the failure of the management of the company to heed their demands, including an increase in salaries and better welfare packages.
Air passengers who were at the Lagos airport were left frustrated today due to the demonstration by the aviation workers, with a few international flights disrupted.
It was gathered that most airline operators were caught unawares as they did not have prior notice that the NAHCO staff members were planning to down tools on the first working day of the week.
This led to the abrupt suspension of flight operations by most operators this morning while efforts were being made to resolve this issue in order to reduce the losses that could arise from the action of the workers.
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