Lagos Tourism Ministry Gives Account of Stewardship
The Lagos Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has given an account of its stewardship in the last three years of the present administration, noting that its area of focus in the period under review is on harnessing the rich tourism and cultural heritage of the State for both local and international tourists.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, at a media parley commended Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for his support in making all of the landmark achievements of her ministry a reality.
According to her, “In another few months, the first four years of this administration would have been reached. As such, this is a good time to remind us of the laudable achievements of the Ministry in the past few years”.
“This Ministry does not operate in isolation as Tourism cannot thrive without transportation and security. Thus we have been working diligently with relevant MDAs in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda but our special focus is on the last ‘E’ pillar which stands for Entertainment and Tourism.
“In 2020 we conceived the initiative to sharpen the skills of our talents in the creative industry to be able to compete effectively with their contemporaries internationally. We also decided to collaborate with acclaimed international academies like Delyork and EbonyLife Creative Academy to upskill the creative abilities of our youths,” she added.
The commissioner noted presently, the ministry has deepened the initiative to train talented youths in acting, script writing, editing, music, video art and animation, just as the state government has brought on board more professionals like the Africa Film Academy and the Temple Company.
Her words: “As we speak we have been able to train over 3,000 in the creative industry and we already see the results of the investments of the state government in the sector. We hope the results of our initiative will grow and surpass our expectations in the future”.
Akinbile-Yussuf stated that some of the major achievements of the ministry in the period under review include the preparation of a 10-year Tourism Master Plan, the release of N1billion as a palliative for members of the tourism, entertainment and creative sector to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on their businesses and approval of a 50 per cent rebate on registration and renewal fees for Hospitality and Tourism Establishments in the year 2020 by Sanwo-Olu.
While noting that a N200 million interest-free loan was also granted to the first batch of 50 film-makers, the commissioner disclosed that the ministry has also launched various programmes like the ‘Eko On Show’ and received several awards and recognitions for its efforts in promoting tourism and entertainment sector in Lagos State.
She said: “In the area of infrastructure, the Glover Memorial Hall was remodeled and is being put into use through concession to professionals that can make optimum use of the Hall, adding that the John Randle Centre for Yoruba History and Culture will also be commissioned soon in addition to the rehabilitated Slave Market Museum that was commissioned recently by the state government.”
Informing that the groundbreaking event for the Lagos Cultural Village project that would be established in Alimosho Local Government Area was done recently, Akinbile-Yussuf, also disclosed that 100 hectares of land have been acquired at Ikosi-Ejinrin LCDA for the Lagos Film City project.
“The governor and I were recently in Washington DC to meet with the investors that will ensure the immediate and prompt development of the Lagos Film City project. We are determined and committed to ensuring that we give the best to Lagos State and improve its tourism potential while enhancing its socio-economic development”, Akinbile-Yussuf stated.
The commissioner allayed the fears of stakeholders that some of the lofty programmes that she started may be jettisoned in the next dispensation, maintaining that Lagos has a legacy of continuity and that the Tourism Master Plan is already in place to guide the operations of the ministry.