Obaseki targets one million tourists yearly with ongoing reforms in culture, tourism sector

21 Dec 2022

…urges stakeholders’ support to ensure environmental sustainability

…hails judiciary, legislature, civil servants, security agencies, others

The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said ongoing reforms in the culture, arts and tourism sector will ensure the influx of at least one million tourists yearly into the state.

Obaseki, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, said the government is focusing on the state’s tourism and culture assets to improve internally generated revenue in line with the government’s plan of diversifying the economy.

He said, “Our goal is to make sure that in about five years’ time, our transformation in this sector will attract a minimum of one million people to the state yearly to see our culture, forests and environment.

“This will lead to spending dollars in the state and it will boost the economy as the money will be bigger than any budget of the state. We are encouraging tourism, culture and arts to diversify our economy and creating jobs for our people and young ones. All these can be possible if only we get support and commitment from our people.

“But those displaced from the old order are still doing all to distract us from our transformational drive as the system doesn’t benefit them again. They are doing all to ensure they pull us down.”

Obaseki, while reiterating the government’s commitment to environmental sustainability, noted, “Next year 2023, we need to clean and green Edo State. So, we will be coming to you seeking your cooperation and commitment to achieve this as one of the biggest problems and challenges facing Edo State.

“We should take the issue of our environment seriously, as climate change sets in. It is doing a lot of damage to our environment. If you look at Benin City and many cities around the world, you will not believe that Edo is in the rain forest as there is a massive deforestation of the land and it's a big threat to us.

“We are experiencing a serious increase in rainfall. When the rain falls, there is nothing to hold it and it's causing massive erosion across the state. To tackle this, we will be coming to you next year to appeal for your support to stop this threat. We will be needing the cooperation of our traditional, religious leaders and other stakeholders as we build our natural environment yet again.

“We thank our legislature as this set of legislators have passed more laws in the state since 1999 than any parliament. The judiciary has been very supportive to our administration as they ensure there is security, law and order in the state, while the traditional institution is the backbone of this administration as they have cooperated with us in forming a formidable security system in the state. We also thank our religious leaders whose prayers have helped this administration so far.”

The governor further noted, “The Edo State civil and public servants have been amazing. They have great potential. We are amazed by their output and proud to say that the Edo State Civil Service has achieved greatly as no state, not even the federal government, has achieved as much.

“With over 4,000 computers deployed across the civil service, today over 70 per cent of our civil servants prepare their files and papers on our e-government platform and by the time we would be leaving office on November 11, 2024, Edo will not only have stopped using physical files but operate digital services to develop the state.”