Nigeria dreams amongst others are to realize her tourism benchmark in the midst of committee of nations, but this could only be possible if the numerous problems confronting her are duly attended to. Although, it is imperative to reiterate that she is a State with a multi-religious and multi-ethnic state with over two hundred and fifty ethnic groups that are rich in diverse cultures. Mother Nature has so blessed the country with vast land, beautiful climate and land formation, especially with the swampy coastal lands to the tick rain forests and the savanna. There are also the parks and games reserves in their natural habitat. The hills, the rocks, lakes, natural and warm spring water all add colour and beauty to the landscape. These are some of the natural endowments that are yet to be harnessed in full capacity and requiring attention (of the tourism industry) for maximum exploitation and benefits which, no doubt, will increase the economic fortune of the country and enhance the much desired development. The impact of this numerous tourist centres are yet to be appropriated as the Osun-Oshogbo festival in particular and its influence need to be felt in this course of national development, to which this course are interested in X-raying.

The study will adopt primary and secondary sources of data collections. The primary data will utilizes materials from oral face to face interview from key informants of: three (3) historians on Yoruba culture, four (4) members of the Osun-Oshogbo traditional worshippers, three (3) members of the coordinating Group of the Osun-Oshogbo festival, two (2) members of the Osun State ministry of Culture, three (3) members of Nigerian Tourism Board and three (3) Archaeologist on Yoruba relics. The secondary data use materials sourced from archival library methods, internet browsing, CD-ROM, journals and articles, conference papers and bulletins on tourism and development in Nigeria. The study will use both content analysis and in-depth interview methods at arriving at its goal. It will equally use descriptive and narrative approach in the course of investigation and analysis.

The study noted that our rich cultural heritage and natural endowments remain as treasure mines towards enhancing the development of the country. The work also informed that maximum utilization of national values like the Osun-Oshogbo festival benefits; especially the tourism sector, the Osun state people and towards Nigeria development could aid quick economic revenue that can enhance national earnings and national reserve of the country.

Conclusively, the study is of the view that for Osun-Oshogbo festival and all other tourist sites to develop and be sustained towards aiding national development that the people and government in particular need to pay more attention to others sources of generating revenue like the tourist industries in order to enhance balanced national development and economic growth that will be devoid of any shortfall. 













Front Page                                                                                                                   i

Certification                                                                                                                ii

Dedication                                                                                                                  iii

Acknowledgements                                                                                                    iv

Table of Contents                                                                                                       v

Abstract                                                                                                                      vii



1.0       Background of the Study                                                                               1

1.2       Statements of the Problems                                                                            2

1.3       The Objectives of the Study                                                                           3

1.4       Research Question                                                                                          3

1.5    Significance of the Study                                                                                  4

1.6    Scope of the study                                                                                             5   

1.7       Limitation of the Study                                                                                  5

1.8       Definition of Terms                                                                                         6



2.0       Introduction                                                                                                    8

2.1       Global Overview                                                                                             8

2.2       Nigeria’s Tourism Potentials and National Development                               16

2.3       Instances of Cultural Fiestas that had enhanced Tourism and  

         Development in Nigeria                                                                                     20

2.4       Osun-Osogbo History                                                                                     24

2.5       Turning the New Into Heritage                                                                      27



3.1       The Origin of Osun-Osogbo Festival                                                              54

3.2       Osun-Osogbo Festival and Its Social Relation to Yoruba Race                     56

3.3       The Cultural Identity, Sacredness and the Interrelation to Outside World   60



4.1           The General Analysis of Osun-Osogbo Festival and National Development  63

4.2              Tourism and Sustainable Development in Nigeria                                          64

4.3           The Value Base of Osun-Osogbo Festival and Tourism

Development in Nigeria                                                                                   68                   

4.4              The Salient Factors that Impede on Osun-Osogbo and

National Development                                                                                    72



5.1              General Findings                                                                                             77

5.2              Summary                                                                                                         79

5.3              Conclusions                                                                                                     81

5.4     Recommendations                                                                                            82

BIBLIOGRAPHY                                                                                                    85






                                                     CHAPTER ONE




 Africa is full of millions of miles of squares of rich and fertile land some of which are opened and park like in their appearance and others covered with expensive forest of valuable timber where the sound of the wood-man’s axe has never been heard, and which only requires the culture of the husbandman to make their produce an ample of labour returns (Mazrui, 1998).

The above quotation while representing a true picture of the African Continent explains as well the situation of the Nigerian State with a total area of 923,768 square kilometers, land area of 910,768, with water – 13,000 square kilometers and coastline 853 kilometres. The country indeed has abundant rich and fertile land. The Southern part which is an embodiment of the swamp and the forest is rich in forest products with several miles, while the North, greater part of which falls within the Savannah Belt is equally very rich. The country has a population of over 140 million people and over 250 ethnic groups with different cultures and languages. Each of these numerous ethnic groups has different arts and crafts that offer attractions to outsiders. (Okpoko, 1990).

There are also different historical sites and monuments that offer tourism attractions. Festivals abound among the different ethnic groups, the potentials for which only few have been developed. Archaeologists through their researches and excavations have also analyzed issues on the proliferated people and cultures of Nigeria. Some of their findings adorn our Museums and Monuments and help to enrich our cultural past. These cultural and artifactual materials which are kept by the different traditional institutions offer attractions and if explored, will serve as an alternative source of revenue that is sustainable to government.

In the 1960s the label stood for an exciting though also contested center of modern, then still contemporary African art. In the 1970s and 1980s Osogbo's fame faded. The name gradually disappeared in the art historical references. By the end of the 1990s the literature suggested the name Osogbo had shrunk to a historical footnote. Encountering the reality thus came as a surprise. Against an inquiry in 2000, there was realization that the city and its artists had embarked on a "second career." After a first career in the global art world, the city had successfully reinvented itself as an important destination in today's roots and heritage tourism, with the Osun grove and annual Osun festival being the city's main attractions.

The Nigerian state was obviously supporting this development. Not only was the Osogbo museum, a branch of the National Commission of Museums and Monuments involved in the organization of the Osun festival which climaxes in the Osun grove, but rumor also had it that the Nigerian state intended to nominate the Osun grove to be added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites.



It is imperative that, international tourism is second only to oil as the single largest item of the world trade. The global economic meltdown and fallen prices of crude oil at the international market more than before makes it imperative for alternative sources of revenue to be exploited. Tourism can help us achieve the Nigeria of our dreams not only for the present but also for generations to come.

Therefore, it becomes a worrisome case for the long year of government neglect and abandonment of what would have help to improve the economic. The neglect amount wastage loses and slimmed economic projection that the Tourism industry would have helped to promote.   



The following are the objectives of the study:

1.    To examine the historical value of Osun-Osogbo Festival on National Developments.

2.    To ascertain the income generated during the festive period towards national development

3.    To examine the socio-economic implication of the year of neglect of the centre in boosting economy and transformation of the country revenue base.

4.    To explain the importance of the tourist centre to national and international development.

5.    To explain how the site can be used in creating jobs and development of human capital.



Research question are drawn from the concepts associated with the research problem which describe the problem in specific terms. They are specifically design statements of the components of the problem (Asika, 2004)

1.     Why was the long years of government neglect of tourism especially the values of Osun-Osogbo tourism features?

2.     How could the revenue accruing from the tourist festival help to enhance government revenue derivation?

3.     What are the possible international gestures that the government and the people of Osun intend to gain?

4.     Can the tourism revenue help to reshape the Nigeria economic posture?

5.     What are the likelihood of tourist centre encouraging opening up of the area for development     



Firstly, the beauty of tourism, apart from the ripple effects on other sectors is that it is a highly sustainable industry with little expense for maintenance and protection. It is indeed an enormous treasure mine for exploration and exploitation. We now know the tourist potentials, where they are located and it only requires the will, dedication and commitment of all, particularly the Leadership of the state to provide positive direction so that others can follow suit in investing in the Tourism Sector that is rich, sustainable with high and long term returns on investment.

Secondly, international tourism is second only to oil as the single largest item of the world trade. The global economic meltdown and fallen prices of crude oil at the international market more than before makes it imperative for alternative sources of revenue to be exploited. Tourism can help us achieve the Nigeria of our dreams not only for the present but also for generations to come.

Thirdly, it is an obvious fact that Tourism sector have remained untapped essentially because it is not well developed. Investment into the sector will make it more attractive and when made attractive, this will lead to job creation in the support services, such as hotels, eateries, as well as the transportation sector. The subsequent reduction in unemployment will reduce poverty which has been identified as bane to development. Jiboku and Jiboku (2008).

Fourthly, apart from the above, when people visit places of interest, they like to acquire souvenirs for remembrance, invariably, therefore production of arts and craft will increase as there will be more demands, thus boosting the indigenous home industry. In essence, more money will be available to individuals, organizations involved in the sector as well as the entire country.

Lastly, in the area of social welfare, development of the tourism sector and making it more attractive will have positive effects on the health and well-being of tourists. In Nigeria where people hardly have time for relaxation, cases of stress, hypertension and sundry illnesses will be reduced.



The scope of this study is between 1999 and 2011. The study covers the activities and the worship of the Osun-Osogbo diety. It emphasis on the festival’s usefulness, both to the indigenes and outside world.


The work is limited in many respects. These include the long year of neglect that had made it impossible to have enough literature for the study. Logistic and poor funding had also halted the necessary development in the course of the investigation. Poor logistic and fund for traveling to the site also acted as limitation to the duration of the work. The study also experienced hiccups that acted as a hindrance to early completion, especially on the issue of attend to the researcher by the library attendance. Also, lack of security and the role of the tradition indigenes trying to obstruct and impose problems to the researcher. The absent of elderly men and true worshippers make the study tedious and cumbersome. 



FESTIVAL: A festival is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival.

NATURE RESERVES: A nature reserve (natural reserve, nature preserve, natural preserve) is a protected area of importance for wildlife,flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research.

CULTURE:         Culture is a definition highly misunderstood and misused, thus the need for an explanation: 

Culture refers to the following Ways of Life, including but not limited to:

  • Language : the oldest human institution and the most sophisticated medium of expression.
  • Arts &Sciences : the most advanced and refined forms of human expression. 
  • Thought : the ways in which people perceive, interpret, and understand the world around them.
  • Spirituality : the value system transmitted through generations for the inner well-being of human beings, expressed through language and actions. 
  • Social activity : the shared pursuits within a cultural community, demonstrated in a variety of festivities and life-celebrating events.
  • Interaction: the social aspects of human contact, including the give-and-take of socialization, negotiation, protocol, and conventions.

All of the above collectively define the meaning of Culture

CULTURAL SITES:  works of man or the combined works of nature and of man, and areas including archaeological sites which are of outstanding universal value from the historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological points of view.

MONUMENT:  architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, elements or structures of an archaeological nature, inscriptions, cave dwellings and combinations of features, which are of outstanding universal value from the point of view of history, art or science;

TOURISM: is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes.

TOURIST: The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes.

OSUN-OSOGBO: is a sacred forest along the banks of the Oshun River just outside the city of Osogbo, Osun State, Nigeria.

THE OṢUN RIVER: is a river that flows southwards through central Yorubaland in southwestern Nigeria into the Lagos Lagoon and the Atlantic Gulf of Guinea. It is one of the several rivers ascribed in local mythology to have been women who turned into flowing waters after some traumatic event frightened or angered them.

OṢUN: was reputedly one of the wives of Ṣango, the Yoruba god of thunder

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