The Oyo State Government has disclosed its plan to position the historical Irefin Palace in Ibadan to rival the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom.
This came as the government entered into an agreement with private partners to promote notable tourist sites in the state.
The Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Wasiu Olatubosun, said this while hosting members of the Irefin Royal Family at his office on Tuesday.
The visitors are the descendants of Oba Onirefin who built the biggest palace with 125 rooms in the history of Yorubaland, during his reign, between 1912 to 1914.
The late monarch was renowned for his philanthropic efforts in promoting education.
Oba Onirefin was said to be the highest donor to the establishment of the popular Ibadan Grammar School with the contribution of 100 pounds and the land upon which the school was built.
Olatubosun said the Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration in Oyo State, was committed to tourism development as a means of generating internal revenue.
He said, “We want to work with the Irefin Royal Family to bring more attention to the tourism potential of the palace and the significance of it to humanity. The palace is not just a structure, it symbolises love, it symbolises philanthropy.
“The late Oba Onirefin was a giver and lover of educational development. That is why the state government will support the family to promote the palace to be as famous as the Buckingham Palace in the United Kingdom.
“Look at the number of people that trooped to the UK to see the palace among other sites, it will generate goodwill for the government and promote the tourism industry in the state.”
The leader of the family, who doubled as the Coordinator of the Irefin Historical Palace Foundation, Prince Omokayode Ayinla Irefin, said the family was happy with the stride of the Oyo State Government towards promoting the tourism sector.