EKITI State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has inaugurated the first ever Hike Ekiti Mountain, which was attended by hikers from within and outside the country.
Fayemi, represented by the state’s Chief of Staff, Mr Biodun Omoleye, noted that Ekiti State has the largest number of mountains, which according to him are best for Mountain Safari.
Hike Ekiti Mountains Safari is an initiative of Discover Ekiti Project, which is committed to projecting, showcasing and promoting astounding and astonishing potentials that Ekiti has which the world does not know about.
The Governor also disclosed his plans to encourage private investors participation in the development of tourism in the state, saying “machinery has been set in motion to help in the design and implementation of the Ekiti Tourism Development Master Plan, which would propel the actualisation of my arts, culture and tourism visions for the state.
“This is to position Ekiti State as foreigners’ state in the country to own a Tourism Development Plan and attain leadership target in the global tourism market.”
Fayemi stressed the unwavering determination of his administration to translate the huge arts, culture and tourism endowments in the state to opportunities and benefits.
The state Director-General, Council for Arts and Culture, Mr Wale Ojo-Lanre, in his address described the state as a bundle of arts, culture and tourism.
Ojo-Lanre, who described Hike Ekiti Mountain an avenue to project Ekiti state, revealed Governor Fayemi’s keen interest in amplifying the ideas of the youths in promoting the state and making her economy more viable.
“Ekiti State is blessed with numerous arts, culture and tourists sites – waterfalls, hills, breath-taking valleys, vast tracks of unspoiled nature, wildlife reserves, unique natural-warm and cold therapeutic springs, which the Governor Fayemi-led administration is set to project to boost the economy of the state.
“We are set to explore all these to turn Ekiti State to a best-desired tourism destination region and create wealth for the people of the state,” Ojo-Lanre said.
The Director-General, Ekiti State Bureau of Employment, Labour and Productivity, Mr Olanrewaju Ogunjobi, commended the Hike Ekiti Mountains initiative charged Ekiti youths to explore their talents, and come up with ideas capable of developing the society, creating employment and wealth.
“Governor Fayemi-led administration is passionate about developing and empowering the youths in the state, thereby securing a brighter and buoyant future for the state,” Ogunjobi said.
A member of the team, Peculiar Michael, said: “Hike Ekiti Mountain Safari is envisioned to a periodic outdoor adventure that will help the project, showcase and promote Ekiti hills and mountains as a choice destination for mountaineering outdoor adventure in the world.”
Busuyi Ashaolu, an international hiker who has also hiked Kilimanjaro and other notable mountains in the world commended the state government and organiser for the Hike Ekiti Mountain project.
He urged them not to relent on their efforts at showcasing and promoting tourism potentialities in Ekiti to the world.