Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, the Commissioner for Tourist, Arts and Culture, has urged inhabitants of Epe to welcome visitors to the ancient town for tourism reasons to ensure the success of the grassroots community-based tourism program.
During a sensitisation programme held at the Epe Local Government Secretariat, Mrs Akinbile-Yussuf told residents of Epe, including traditional rulers and local government officials, that the State Government will unlock the abundant tourism potentials across the State in order to make all communities in Lagos viable for tourism and economic activities.
The Commissioner explained that when the community-based tourism plan is fully operational, Epe and its environs will become a hive of activity, with travellers from all over the world flocking to the division’s numerous settlements for sightseeing, recreation, and participation in local festivals.
While expressing a desire for citizens’ support and understanding, the Commissioner stressed the importance of accommodating visitors and demonstrating high levels of tolerance in order to attract sales patronage through good services.
In her words: “I want to prepare your minds for the boom in tourism activities, which the entire Epe division will experience in a short while, as a result of this community-based tourism initiative that we have brought to your doorstep”.
“This initiative will translate into job opportunities for most of our youths, result in an increase in the sale of goods and services, including increased patronage for hotel businesses among others”, Akinbile-Yussuf added.
The Commissioner, on the other hand, pushed Epe people to be inventive in creating different creative goods that identify Epe that tourists can buy as souvenirs when they are returning to their homes.
She also revealed that plans are in the works to expand the State Government’s tour guide training program to Epe, so that tourists may be better directed to the various historical sites in a more professional manner.
“Let us promote what we have so that our economy can continue to prosper through Tourism, Arts and Culture. This is an industry whose activities have ripple effects on other areas because tourism is a value chain of activities”, the Commissioner explained.
Princess Olayemi Animashaun, the Chairman of Epe Local Government, stated that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration is transforming the narrative in the tourism sector from a pleasure activity to a profitable business.
She mentioned a number of lucrative tourist industries, including Educational Tourism, Health Tourism, Cultural Tourism, and Food Tourism, among others, and added that tourism affects practically every human endeavour.
Princess Animashaun also stated that the Epe division’s tourism potentials have the capacity to bring the community up to par with other developed cities in terms of development and commercial viability.
in her words: “Here within the Epe division, we have the First Post Office, there is Slave Trade market, there’s cold and hot water here in Epe, Lord Luggard House, Cannon guns and it is also here in Epe that an Elephant was first sighted. These are just a few of the potentials we have that, if fully harnessed, will change our story for the better”.