Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi has inaugurated the first ever Hike Ekiti Mountain, which was attended by hikers from within and outside the country.
Fayemi, who was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Biodun Omoleye, said the state has the largest number of mountains, which, according to him, are best for mountain safari.
Hike Ekiti Mountains Safari is an initiative of Discover Ekiti Project, which is committed to projecting, showcasing and promoting potentials that Ekiti has, which the world does not know about.
The governor said he planned to encourage private investors’ participation in the growth of tourism in the state.
“Machinery has been set in motion to help in the design and implementation of the Ekiti Tourism Development Master Plan, which would propel the actualisation of my arts, culture and tourism visions for the state.
“This is to position Ekiti State as foreigners’ state in the country to own a Tourism Development Plan and attain leadership target in the global tourism market.”
Fayemi stressed the unwavering determination of his administration to translate the huge arts, culture and tourism endowments in the state to opportunities and benefits.
The state Director-General, Council for Arts and Culture, Mr. Wale Ojo-Lanre, in his address described the state as a bundle of arts, culture and tourism.
Ojo-Lanre, who described Hike Ekiti Mountain an avenue to project Ekiti State, noted the governor’s keen interest in amplifying the ideas of the youths in promoting the state and making its economy more viable.
Director-General, Ekiti State Bureau of Employment, Labour and Productivity Mr. Olanrewaju Ogunjobi hailed the Hike Ekiti Mountains initiative and urged Ekiti youths to explore their talents, and come up with ideas capable of developing the society, creating employment and wealth.
“Governor Fayemi-led administration is passionate about developing and empowering the youths in the state, thereby securing a brighter and buoyant future for the state,” Ogunjobi said.
A member of the team, Peculiar Michael, said: “Hike Ekiti Mountain Safari is envisioned to a periodic outdoor adventure that will help the project, showcase and promote Ekiti hills and mountains as a choice destination for mountaineering outdoor adventure in the world.”
Busuyi Ashaolu, an international hiker, who has also hiked Kilimanjaro and other notable mountains in the world, lauded the state government and organiser for the project.
He urged them not to relent in their efforts at showcasing and promoting tourism potentialities in Ekiti to the world.
Also yesterday, Ojo-Lanre said the effort would be geared towards acquiring local festivals being celebrated in some towns and promote them to gain national and international recognition.
This, Ojo-Lanre, said will help in promoting the state’s cultural heritage and boost revenue generation.
He spoke in Ado Ekiti yesterday when Ogun Onire Carnival Forum, a committee set up by Ire Ekiti for the 2019 edition of the Ogunnire Festival slated for August visited him at his office to unveil its agenda for this year’s celebration.