The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government will provide access road to the Owu Waterfall in Kwara State with a view to opening it up to local and international tourists.
The Minister had earlier visited the waterfall on 5 February and discovered that lack of access road is the major challenge preventing it from attracting global attention as a tourism destination.Responding to a request on the construction of the access road by the Olusin of Isanlu-Isin, Oba Solomon Oloye, when he paid a courtesy visit to his palace on Friday, Alhaji Mohammed said the process for the award of the contract, which started in 2009, would be revisited by the Federal Government.
“We are here as part of our efforts to boost tourism in Nigeria. We were here a couple of months ago but we were then told that there is actually an easier route to link the community with the Owu Water Fall and interestingly enough, it was revealed to me that as far back as 2009, the Federal Government had made effort to develop this road as a special intervention project,” he said.
The Minister described the Owu Waterfall as the tallest in West Africa and gave the assurance that the Federal Government will do everything within its means to ensure that it becomes a tourist attraction.“The Owu Waterfall is probably the tallest in West Africa. If we can get the road in order, definitely it’s going to attract tourists and then economic activities will resume here,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed commended the Oba and the people of Isanlu-Isin for maintaining the peace, which he described as one of the necessary conditions for attracting tourists and economic activities to the area.
While reeling out the achievements of the Buhari Administration in the last two years, the Minister said the Federal Government has achieved an uncommon feat in the area of security, especially the defeat of Boko Haram.
“I also want to use this opportunity to inform the community, since they are here, the Kabiyesi and all his Chiefs of the laudable achievement of this administration in the area of fighting insecurity. The government was able to totally degrade the Boko Haram insurgency and has freed the entire North East, opened up commerce and social activities
He said the government has recorded success in job creation, particularly through the N-Power Programme where 200,000 graduates have been employed and that by next week, the portal will be reopened for the employment of 300,000 additional applicants.
In the area of Social Intervention, Alhaji Mohammed said 57,000 interest-free loans have been given to market women, artisans and craftsmen while about 1,200,000 pupils in schools across the country are currently enjoying free meals under the Home-grown Feeding Programme.He also informed him of the effort the government is making in agriculture, especially in making available fertilizer at affordable prices and also that the Soil Map drawn up has allowed farmers to increase their yield.
In his remarks, Oba Oloyede told the Minister that along the route to the Owu Water Fall there are two other water falls in Ijoko and Aise, which the government can also explore for tourism.
He commended the giant strides of the Buhari Administration in reviving the economy which he said was grounded by corruption, and appealed to the people to exercise patience to enable the government restore the economy on the path of growth and sustainable development.
“Let me quickly use the opportunity here to congratulate the Federal Government for the two years in office and for the giant strides the government is taking even with all the challenges of governance. I pray that the APC-led Federal Government will continue to move the nation forward,” the Oba said.
He equally hailed the government for the success in the fight against insurgency, which has resulted in the restoration of peace to the North East, and the release of some of the abducted Chibok School girls.