Alaafin lauds NTDC boss on promotion of culture and tourism in Nigeria
*As Mbanefo laud Oyo people for promoting Sango Festival
THE Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Olayiwola Adeyemi III, has described the role of the Director-General of the Nigeria Tourism Development Commission, Dr (Mrs.) Sally Mbanefo, in the promotion of culture and tourism in the country as historic and a model for public office holders.
Oba Adeyemi made this observation while welcoming Mrs Mbanefo and her entourage to the 2014 World Sango Festival held in his palace, in Oyo town, recently.
The monarch said: "I have keenly observed your activities since you assumed office as the Director General of NTDC over a year ago, and I can say unequivocally that you have done so well. Having followed your strides and acts as the NTDC boss, I realized that you are a passionate lady who is determined to achieve where your predecessors had failed. You are on the right frame."
Oba Adeyemi added that: "It is very commendable that Mbanefo matches her words with deeds. She envisioned domestic tourism and here she is, attending Sango Festival. She was in Ile-Ife for Olokun Festival and in Idanre for Mare Festival and she will be leaving for Osun Osogbo Festival. Thus, so far, she has displayed a robust sense of responsibility at her duty post. I commend you, Sally Mbanefo, on behalf of the Oyo Mesi and the entire people of Oyo."
While assuring the NTDC boss of his supports, the Monarch said that Oyo town will like to partner with the NTDC to market the numerous traditional festivals in the town, most importantly, Sango Festivals, to attract both local and foreign tourists, and create wealth for the people in the state and the country at large.
Mbanefo in her response during the opening ceremony of this year's edition of World Sango Festival commended the Alaafin of Oyo and the people of the town for receiving her with a warm hand, while noting that the landscape of Oyo State is dotted with a good number of tourism potentials, saying that "Oyo State has so much to offer in terms of tourism. The state has so many historical sites and monuments. I must say that there are so many tourist attractions in Ibadan, Oyo town, Ogbomoso and Ibarapa, just to mention a few."
The NTDC boss who noted that Sango Festival has been exported to over 47 countries, appreciated the Alaafin of Oyo and the people of the town for keeping the festival alive against all odds, while enjoining them to keep the flag of the Sango Festival flying.
"Festivals brings back our past history and celebrate our culture and tradition, boosts our knowledge in history, while creating wealth and employment for the people. Therefore, it is high time Nigerians woke up and appreciate our tourist potentials, culture and traditions, and explore them, to enable us benefit from the goodies of tourism like many other nations of the world," Mbanefo said.
Mbanefo, who expressed her joy for being part of this year's World Sango Festival assured the Monarch of her continuous support in ensuring the success of Sango festival and other cultural events in the town.
The NTDC boss then officially declared the 2014 World Sango Festival opened. This was greeted with a resonant of applause, jubilation and palpable joy from participants in the festival.