In a bid to harness the tourism potentials of Oyo state, the Senator Abiola Ajimobi led government has made moves towards the building of an Aso Ofi international tourism market at a foundation laying ceremony which was part of activities aimed at celebrating the second edition of Aso Oke festival in Iseyin.
The two day event that held between 15th and 16th September 2017 had in attendance top government functionaries, members of parliament and traditional rulers.
In celebrating the festival, activities such as rally/carnival, aso ofi arts and craft exhibition, weaving competition, colloquium, parade by the four zones of Iseyin weavers and markerters association, aso ofi fashion show amongst other activities made the event colorful.
Speaking at the event, the deputy governor Chief Moses Adeyemo made it known that most of the tourist sites in the state are yet to be fully maximized to generate revenue.
However, the building of the Aso-Ofi international market is expected to have a ripple effect as it would encourage interest in agriculture through the cultivation of cotton which is an essential raw material in aso oke production.
In his welcome address, Oyo state commissioner for Information Culture and Tourism Mr Toye Arulogun highlighted the salient features of the aso oke international market which is expected to have 500 weaving sheds/workshop, 500 exhibition shops, a warehouse, first indigenous textile museum in Nigeria, a fire station, clinic and police station. He also highlighted attempts by government aimed at ensuring that tourism becomes one of the mainstays of the state’s economy.
The project is set to be completed through a Public-Private partnership as paucity of funds in the coffers of the state won’t permit it to be the sole financier.