Sunday, 6 January 2013
Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort Comes Alive Again in Ekiti
Once neglected, the Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort is now transformed and ready for business. writes Femi Makinde.
The Ikogosi Warm Spring Resort is a preferred rendezvous for fun-seekers in Ekiti State. But its potential has been left largely untapped by successive administrations.
The resort is located on the outskirts of Ikogosi-Ekiti in the Ekiti-West Local Government Area of the state. Tucked in a serene environment, and far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it is described as one of the best tourist attractions in Africa ideal for relaxation and for holding retreats.
The Baptist Mission discovered the beauty of nature in Ikogosi in the 1950s. It made some efforts to transform the place, which soon began to attract tourists from far and near to the warm spring.
The spring flows from two sources of different temperatures: hot and cold. This remains a puzzle till date. For many years, its potential, which had the capacity to lift Ekiti’s present economy, was ignored.
But Governor Kayode Fayemi noticed this and in one of his speeches to the natives of the state, he pledged to transform the resort.
A few months after, there is evidence that Fayemi, who has tourism development as one of the items on his eight-point agenda, has fulfilled his promise to give the place a facelift.
Many natives of the state and visitors marvelled at the level of transformation that had taken place when the resort was opened to the public last October as part of activities marking the governor’s second year in office.
Newly built chalets, a multi-purpose hall, swimming pool, bar and other facilities have added to the beauty of the resort.
The government plans to build a three-star hotel at the resort to boost its capacity to generate funds. Shortly before he marked his two years in office, Fayemi said that the state government had acquired 116 hectares of land for the construction of the hotel, which would begin in the second phase of the development of the resort. A warm and cold spa, canopy walk, standard golf course, sporting and other recreational facilities will be added to existing ones.
The special adviser to the governor on tourism, Mr. Segun Olugunleko, says the resort, including a games reserve that is also in the offing, will be private sector-driven and commissioned in 2013.
Olugunleko says, “Facilities nearing completion at the warm spring resort include standard and executives suites, VIP villas, a 300-seater multi-purpose conference hall, a 60-seater meeting and function room, a 30-seater meeting room and standard rooms for campers and students on excursion.
“Other facilities under construction at the resort include a reception, multi-purpose building, warm water adult swimming pool, children’s pool, restaurant/bar, amphitheatre, arts and crafts centre as well as a children’s playground.”
Ologunleko says that as part of the efforts to ensure adequate security of lives and property of tourists at the centre, the state government has commenced work on the perimeter fencing of the resort.
He adds that the installation of closed-circuit television cameras and other security apparatus has also begun.
While stressing that the resort will be run purely as a revenue yielding venture for the state government, Olugunleko notes that a South African firm, Mantis Collections Ltd., has been appointed to manage the resort.