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Governor Seyi Makinde’s Presentation at the International Tourism Summit Oyo State 2024

When you hear the title of this presentation, the keyword you will quickly identify is unlocking.

You immediately imagine a door with a key that fits nicely and opens it. If you were returning from a hard day at work in the middle of the afternoon, with how hot the weather is these days, you would be happy to have a key that unlocks your door because, on the other side of the door, you are assured of refreshing water and rest. It will be frustrating if you arrive at the door and discover you have either lost your key or you have the wrong one.

The situation is similar with investors. Yes, they have their money for investment. At the other side of the door is profit. The question is always, what is the return on investment? Without the right key that unlocks the potential they are seeking, they will not gain access to the expected benefits.

In this presentation, I will share the key that unlocks the door to tourism potential in Oyo State.

Various speakers earlier in the day, especially during the opening presentations, discussed partnership opportunities in Oyo State and outlined what the State has to offer. But it is one thing to know what we have and quite another to access it.

So, what is the key?

The key is partnerships.

Partnerships are about handshakes. Through this summit, Oyo State extends a handshake to stakeholders. We hope that you will take that hand and join us in sustainable tourism development.

The three types of partnerships you can find in Oyo State are:

  1. Public–Private Partnership
  2. Public – Development Partnerships
  3. Hybrid partnerships

How do these work?

I will walk you through the process and how it works. But before we do that, let us take another look at the opportunities; this time, we will discuss those opportunities Oyo State is prepared to work on with relevant stakeholders. To show how serious we are about these investments, as part of this event, we have commissioned investment advisors to create a document that shows the investment opportunities and projections. We have produced an investors’ handbook that takes a high-level look at these investments, but we are also prepared to take a deep dive into these investments.

So, what are these investment opportunities we are projecting?

There are six of them.

  1. Ibadan Cultural Centre
  2. Bower’s Tower
  3. Eleyele Water Front
  4. Idere Hill
  5. Iyamapo Hill
  6. Iyake Suspended Lake

If you watched the tourism documentary earlier. You would have seen all of these sites and destinations featured.

We have done our homework, and we have the figures.

So, a key part of my presentation is sharing those figures with you. Then, we will have the high-level investors meeting to discuss these figures and how you can get a slice of the Oyo State tourism investment cake.

As you may already know, we have expectations for these sites and destinations. For example, our minimum expectation is that the Ibadan Cultural Centre will be restored to its former glory.

We project that the entry point for this investment will be about N1 billion (One billion Naira). In fact, for each of these sites and destinations, which I will be referring to as the focus 6, entry points are from about 250 million, with expected profit margins of between 50 and 60% yearly based on five-year projections.

As mentioned, we got a reputable tourism advisory firm to run the numbers. So, we have location and marketing appraisal for the focus six as well as proposed project concept and financial appraisal.

One of the things that looking at the report on these sites has revealed, and I believe it was also a recurring theme during the sessions today, is the role that government needs to play in fostering the partnerships that lead to sustainable development. And I know that if I speak to these investors later today, a big question they will be asking is: What is the Oyo State Government offering?

We might as well address the elephant in the room right away.

Under our PPDP arrangement, the primary source of funding for the project is the private investor or development organisation.

Oyo State Government is not saying, “Come we have a stack of cash somewhere that we will plow directly into the Focus 6”. I have said “Plowed directly” because there is also indirect project financing which is captured and baked into infrastructure development.

For example, I remember when I met with Kunle Afolayan, he is one of our investors in a film village at Komu. One of the things he asked for was the construction of the road linkage, which we promised to do. He also complained about electricity. These are some of the major concerns for investors.

You may have heard about the rapid development of infrastructure Oyo State is carrying out, including roads that will make tourism sites easier to access and contribute to a great user experience. We have embarked on some and provided interconnectivity across all zones. In fact, it would be impossible to be having this conversation without the groundwork laid in the last five years.

We know that tourism receives a greater boost when the government makes it easier for people to get to these destinations. So, part of what we are willing to offer investors is expanding the activities of the State-run transport service with the Omituntun Buses to these areas within and outside Ibadan.

We know that some people often want to go to these sites and return to Ibadan on the same day. For the Iyake Lake, we have made that possible through the 65 km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin Road. And for those trying to get in and out of the Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub, we have the 34.85 km Oyo-Iseyin Road, which passes right in front of that facility.

But we know this does not give the type of immersive experience that tourists are seeking. That is why one of the main investments we are projecting around these sites is suitable accommodation facilities within close proximity to the tourist site.

To support this, we are willing to offer watertight leaseholds to investors. Depending on the investment volume, we can provide decade-long leases. And this is not just talk. Investors at the Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub, I am glad Tony Jibunoh was interviewed earlier about his experience here, I am sure you heard him talk about why he chose Oyo State for investment. We are a forward-looking government, and we are already working towards the Oyo State of the future where we remain pacesetters.

When it comes to providing land, land for development is prioritised. We have a vision of how we want the State to look, and we are not deceiving ourselves or anyone into believing we will just jump from point A to Point B. We are willing to put in the work and work with investors to do so.

I think another issue investors face with land is being scammed by people who claim they own the land, but they do not. To a large extent, we have dealt with that situation, and I am sure the Commissioner for Lands, Housing and Urban Development will speak about it tomorrow. So be here to hear all he has to say.

Of course, aside from partnerships with investors to develop these facilities that support tourism, there are also partnerships with content creators, promoters and others in the communications and marketing sector. I am sure in the weeks and months after this event, the State’s communication and marketing consultants will be reaching out to more of this segment to promote the State’s tourism sector.

For many who have never been to Oyo State and even for some who live here, some of the tourism destinations mentioned today might seem very new. They may not have even heard of them. So, we agree that we need to work with the local communities and others to project these sites. I have heard the Honourable Commissioner quoting that we have over 100 of these sites. We are already working on a compilation of these and we will commission brochures and other materials that will further promote these sites. So that is another partnership to look forward to.

Later this evening at the Governor’s Dinner and Award Night, we will be rewarding some people who have kept working in the sector even when the government has not paid attention to it. This only goes to buttress further the point that these opportunities exist and can lead to prosperity if properly harnessed. I believe this is another way of promoting tourism development.

In conclusion, let me thank again all who made it out today to be part of the first International Tourism Summit Oyo State 2024. I want to say a special thank you to the Honourable Minister of Tourism, Lola Ade-John, my brother and friend, the former Governor of Cross River State, Donald Duke as well as all investors who continue to contribute to the tourism industry in Oyo State.

As I mentioned earlier, I will be meeting with the investors right after this presentation and I will be taking your investment related questions so that together, we can unlock the tourism potential of Oyo State through public-private-development partnership collaborations.

Thank you, and God bless you.

Seyi Makinde

17 April 2024


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