The senator representing Ekiti Central Senatorial District of Ekiti State, said became imperative “in view of the plunging oil price in the international market and the urgency of Nigeria to diversify its revenue base.”
Speaking in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, during the yearly Udiroko Festival,Raji-Rasaki said: “this festival and some other cultural festivals in the country could serve as great avenues to generate foreign exchange for the country”. She said: “Many Caribbean countries depend largely on festivals as source of foreign exchange.
“For instance, the popular Rio Janeiro Festival in Brazil attracts not less than two million people yearly and generates approximately $3 billion for the government. Our own Udiroko Festival has the capacity to do even more.”
“It has high potential in stimulating the local economy; boosting job creation; reinforcing the fight against social vices; helping address social ills and increasing the popularity and dignity of its people.
“In the area of job creation, cultural festivals like the Udiroko celebration can create jobs for tour guides, restaurants, guest houses, horticulturalists, arts and crafts producers and other cultural entrepreneurs,” the senator said. Raji-Rasaki, an Ado Ekiti indigene, said Udiroko was an avenue for Ado Ekiti kingdom to showcase “our rich cultural heritage, our artistic diversity, our oneness, our communal solidarity and our capacity in transforming Ado Ekiti and its environ to a position of international cultural tourism”.
She stated that the festival is rich in arts, music, dance, culture, indigenous costume and historical enactments which are attractions to cultural tourists.