Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has expressed determination to explore tourism potentials in the state for its economic development.
Makinde made the pledge when he led top functionaries of his government on an inspection tour to Ikere Gorge Dam at the outskirt of Iseyin town on Thursday.
Addressing newsmen at the site, Makinde said his government was targeting the tourism potentials of the Gorge Dam, saying its potentials was not limited to electricity generation alone.
“We are also looking at tourism potentials, actually that’s the meat for us, this may be our own Sun-City resort, like the one in South Africa and we will work toward it.” Makinde stated.
He also noted that water from the dam could be used for irrigation or supply to a treatment facility in Iseyin for the use of the public; “all these opportunities can be utilised apart from using it for electricity generation.”
The governor, however, noted that the 28km road that connected Iseyin town and the Ikere Gorge Dam was in a deplorable condition but promised to fix it soonest.
“This road linking Iseyin is about 28km and took us over one hour to reach here, we are going to fix the road so as to attract tourism investors here,” he promised.
He lamented the neglect of the Gorge Dam, noting that almost all the facilities installed since 1984, apart from the civil structure, had been wasted.
“Im not satisfied with what I have seen here, it’s mere wasting of Nigeria’s money but whatever we can do to savage it as Oyo State, we will make a move.”
Among the governor’s entourage were his deputy, Alhaji Rauf Olaniyan, the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Olubamiwo Adeosun, Head of Service Mrs Amidat Agboola, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Mr Debo Ogundoyin and all the commissioners.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Ikere Gorge Dam was initiated by the Military Regine of Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo and became functional during the administration of late Alhaji Shehu Shagari in 1983.