Tourism in Ekiti

Tourism Development is seventh (7th) in the eight (8)-Point Agenda of His Excellency Governor Fayemi’s administration. The tourism objective of this administration is to make Ekiti State one of the leading tourism destinations in Nigeria. When the present government came on board, it realized that the tourism sector in Ekiti State was non-existent and superficial. In spite of the fact that the state is blessed with many tourism potentials, no meaningful step was taken by past administrations to develop the tourism sector of the state.

Facilities at the only available tourist site in Ekiti State, the Ikogosi Warm Spring were found to have deteriorated due to neglect leading to low patronage. What should be a pride for all Ekiti indigenes has become a big embarrassment to us all.

To underscore the importance attached to the tourism sector by the Kayode Fayemi administration, a new Ministry of Culture, Arts and Tourism was created immediately for the state in accordance with the practice in tourism-friendly states. A substantive Commissioner was appointed for the ministry while an experienced professional was appointed as Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism Development.

This was followed by the provision of budgetary allocation for tourism development in the 2011 reviewed budget by Governor Kayode Fayemi, who promised to match the budgetary provision with cash backing unlike what happened in the past when funds were allocated to the tourism sector for years but no single kobo was released to the sector. A capital vote of N146million was provided in the 2011 Budget for tourism development.

Ekiti State is blessed with many tourist sites, many of which are yet to be explored and developed. The present government believes that if the tourist sites are developed, they are capable of generating billions of Naira for the state annually. The government has therefore decided to partner with the private sector to fully develop the tourism potentials of the state so as to generate substantial revenue for government, create employment opportunities and alleviate poverty at the grassroots.

Ekiti offers serenity and a wide variety of tourist attractions such as extended rivers, unique wildlife, vast tracks of unspoiled nature ranging from tropical forest, magnificent waterfalls, conducive hilltop holidaying climates, spectacular warm and cold water springs oozing out and touching, yet retaining its thermal identity, nowhere in the world has this unique warm springs experience.

Other attractions include traditional ways of life preserved in local customs; rich and varied handicrafts and other colourful products depicting or illustrative of native arts, lifestyle, dance and the authentic and unsophisticated but friendly attitude of both the indigenes and residents of the State.

Our Goal

  • Make Ekiti State a most attractive destination for relaxation and holidays.
  • Ekiti State to attain regional leadership in Tourism Development
  • Ekiti State to attain national recognition by December 2012
  • Transform Ekiti to a significant national and international tourist destination.
  • Make Ekiti an all year round tourist destination state.
  • Brand Ekiti as a friendly, peaceful, stable and secure state
  • Position Tourism as the driver and catalyst for the development of the state and the region.
  • Compete favourably in the global tourism market place
  • Appoint and achieve through competent teams, benchmarking successful tourist giant states and countries (e.g Cross river in Nigeria, Kenya , Jamaica, Gambia, China, United Kingdom and USA etc).

The Will and Commitment by Government

The deliberate effort and determination of His Excellency, Governor Kayode Fayemi to be at the driving seat of Tourism development leading to viable and sustainable projects and products around our tourists attractions are clear indications to the workability of Ekiti state as a tourist destination with standard leisure, entertainment, hotels and business accommodation facilities as an investors haven.

Our People are ready and Yearning. To our people Tourism means:

  • Jobs, more Jobs and wealth creation
  • Quality service to all customers
  • Gateway out of poverty to economic progress
  • Prospects for greater respect and dignity
  • A better standard of living and a better life.

Focus Areas

  1. Tourist Attraction Development
  2. Benchmark (local & int’l tourism giants)
  3. Inter state Government, partnership, affiliation & Collaboration with tourism bodies world wide
  4. Training/HR Capacity Building
  5. Viable partnerships with the Private sector (PPP’s & Concessions)
  6. Commercialization

Administration

Ekiti State drives tourism through the Bureau of Tourism Development led by a Special Adviser, Engr Olusegun Ologunleko an experienced professional that has distinguished himself at the highest level of Tourism development projects and products in Nigeria.

In 2008, Engr. Ologunleko on behalf of Tinapa Business Resort led a team of World FIFA accredited agents to London and Old Trafford, Manchester, United Kingdom where he made presentations to the Chairman – English Premier League (Sir David Richards) and the Owners of Manchester United FC on Nigeria , Calabar and Tinapa as preferred Sports Tourism destinations for an international friendly Football match. He thereafter signed the contract agreement leading to the biggest and most visible international football clubs in the world –( Manchester United FC and Portsmouth FC – both Champions of the EUFA Cup 2008 & Barclays English Premier league Cup 2008) visiting and playing international friendly football matches featuring their “A” teams in Abuja, Nigeria in July 2008. Sir Alex Fergusson (Man U team manager) and Mr David Gill (Man U –Chief Executive Officer) were on the troupe.

He was appointed by Dr Kayode Fayemi, Governor of Ekiti State in December, 2010 with the following responsibilities:

  • Tourism Development .
  • Tourists destination establishment and sustenance as successful on-going concerns
  • Tourism Products Development making Ekiti State a most attractive destination
  • Tourism Infrastructure Development
  • Commercialization & Tourism stakeholders growth

He has a team of competent professionals that he leads to accomplish the above mandate.

Egbe Dam

This Dam is constructed on Ose River at Egbe Ekiti in Ekiti East Local Government. The dam supplies the whole Local Government regular pipe-borne water.
Both fishing and irrigation systems of farming are practise by the villagers. People go to Egbe Ekiti from all over the state to purchase fresh and smoked fish for their local consumption.

Both dams and lakes are good resort centres for tourists coming to Ekiti on a visit.

Erinta Water Falls

The Erinta Water falls at Ipole-Iloro is located at about 6km North-West of Ikogosi. It could be reached only through a secondary road from Ikogosi. The road leading to the fall passes through the Ikogosi Tourist Centre. Visit this resort centre and be marvelled at the work of nature. Tourists fell the chilly effect of this fall about 10 metres away. It has three pronounced escarpments. A research recently carried out by an Afro American indicated that the water falls could generate electricity (Hydro-electric power).

This resort centre is naturally endowed with thick and evergreen forest.

Ero Water Dam

Ero dam and lake are man-made tourist attractions in the State. This dam is located at Ikun Ekiti in Moba Local Government of the State. The lake covers some kilometers. In fact, it was initially designed to cover only five kilometres but eventually it covered eleven kilometres. This dam supplies three Local Governments drinkable water and the Local Governments that benefit from this are: Oye, Ido-Osi and Moba itself. This is to say that the dam supplies over one hundred towns and villages in the state with pipe borne water.

According to experts, the dam is capable of supplying Ekiti State as a whole potable water. The indigenes of the town and neighbours and even Hausas fish on this Ero lake. Local canoes, boats and modern flying boats are made use of by these fishermen. This dam encourages the people to practise irrigation (system of farming) in their environments.

Fajuyi Square - Adekunle Fajuyi Park

It is a triangular park where the late Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi was buried. This park is at Ado Ekiti, the heart of Ekiti-land in Ekiti State. Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi was the Governor of the Old Western State. He was swept off by the coup of 1966 but accorded a heroic burial for his sacrifice and patriotism.

Ikogosi Warm Spring

The meeting point of warm and cold spring

The Haven of tourists in Nigeria. Ekiti State is richly endowed with tourism potentials. Tourists to the state would be irresistibly charmed with the beauties of Ikogosi where warm and cold water oozing from different sources flowing separately to join in a pool but each retaining its thermal identity.

Geographical Location

Ikogosi Ekiti, where the warm spring is located is in Ekiti West Local government of Ekiti State of Nigeria. It is situated in a valley and from the surrounding hills rises the warm spring.

Historical Background

Giant Tortoise being taken care of by the Hard working Zoological assistance Traditionally speaking, there are many stories from the indigenes of this town regarding the origin of the warm spring. A version of the stories rests more on the traditional belief of the people that both springs (Warm and Cold) were wives of the same husband who turned to springs water in the wake of rift and rivalry between them. The hot and ill-tempered first wife believed to have turned to the popular warm spring while the cool-tempered second wife turned to cold spring water. The husband became the undulating hills that encompass the springs. It is well established that some of the Villagers still worship the springs as their deities.

The scientific proof could not be wished away in favour of the traditional belief. The possible and plausible scientific explanation is that the deeper a body of water goes underground, the hotter it becomes and if by chance it is forced back to the surface through some earth fault, the temperature will be relatively high.

The Baptist mission in the early 50s established a youth and conference centre and other conviniences on a hill adjacent to the warm spring area. This started attracting different people from far and near, even foreigner started visiting the centre to the the work of nature. At the wake of 1978 however, the Ondo State acquired this popular tourist centre from Baptist Mission. A few infrastructure were put in place by this Mission before the resort centre was acquired from them by the State government, but, after the acquisition of this centre, however, both the federal and the state government focused attention on how to develop the centre to a modern tourist resort.

Belief

The spring water is said to have some therapeutic effects in some diseases like rheumatism and guinea-worm. People who have access to the spring use it for the battery of their vehicles instead of the normal battery water.

Olosunta and Orole Hills of Ikere

These two hills are located at Northern and southern parts of the town (Ikere Ekiti) respectively. They are both steep-sided hills. These are good resort centres for Tourists to visit and see for themselves what God has done for the State of Honour, Fountain of Knowledge. There are deities in charge of these two hills. Both are worshipped accordingly. In line with the belief of the people of this town the Olosunta and Orole deities reside in the hills respectively. Both deities are credited with some feats such as provision of children to barren women and protection of Ikere from warfare. They are believe to be responsible for the welfare of the town. Ikere Ekiti is usually described as the only unconquered town in Ekiti during the popular inter-tribal wars.

Below is a list of festivals in Ekiti State:

Festival Town Time / Period
Idiroko Ado Annually
Ogun Ire in particular and all parts of the state August, through September,Annually
Aeregbe Afao, Igbara-Odo, Emure August, Annually
Epa (Masquerade) Isan May, Annually
Ikereje Ilawe December, Annually
Alayere Igbara-Odo December, Annually
Ayan OmuoAdo Annually
Oro Ibeji Igara-Odo August ,Annually
Obanifon Ogotun, Are, Esure December/June/February, Annually
Elefon Ikoro February, Annually
Olua Epa, Eyio, Ilu-Omoba June/August, Annually
Okudi Iyin July, August, Annually
Eegun Ijan July, August, Annually
Olosunta Ikere Annually
Egungun/ImaleIdiroko All parts of the state Annually
Ijesu (New Yam Festival) All parts of the state Annually
Oodun Iyin June, July, Annually
Odun Opa Iyin Annually
Amomo Ise Annually
Iromo Igede Annually

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