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Lagos to develop local tourism sites

…commences work on newly discovered ones

The Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Art and Culture has said the agency is set to develop local tourism sites in the state even as it commences work on newly discovered ones.

Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, disclosed the information in her speech at a press conference heralding the celebration of World Tourism Day 2020 in Lagos. She noted that the development of new sites in Lagos would help reduce the rate at which Nigerians travel abroad for adventure purposes, and also expressed the state’s readiness to mark the event on September 27, 2020.

“As a matter of fact, the proposal of the Ministry for next year is to focus more on developing our local tourism sites and also commence work on newly discovered ones. This will help reduce the rate at which Nigerians travel abroad for adventure purposes,” the commissioner disclosed.

She further stated that the state, which is already among the top 5 tourism cities in Africa, is eyeing the number one spot on the continent. According to her, the Ministry is working hard to transform the state into a tourism and entertainment hub in Africa by exploring, promoting the potentials that abound in Lagos, and supporting the thriving entertainment and arts industry as viable platform to attract visitors and also create jobs in the state.

According to her, the ministry has also started the production of a documentary that will dwell on inventing new destinations to be sold such as film village, musical concert arena, medical wellness and relevant forms of PPP arrangements to be deployed in order to transform Lagos State into a tourism and entertainment hub in Africa.

“Just recently too, the state government announced the commitment of N1 Billion as seed capital for investment in tourism, arts and culture for practitioners in the industry to drive the growth of the green economy in the state,” the commissioner said.

“As I speak, the Ministry in collaboration with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) has commenced the process of verifying applicants and beneficiaries of the fund. Apart from this, the governor has equally approved 50 percent reduction on licensing fees for hospitality businesses as incentives for the practitioners in the industry to aid recovery process from the inactivity in the sector since the outbreak of the deadly virus earlier in the year.

Speaking further, Akinbile-Yussuf said that Lagos state is leveraging on its investment in tourism for job and wealth creation, to curb youth restiveness, discover new tourism potentials and ultimately contribute significantly to the GDP of the state.

“The Ministry also took a step further to strengthen its relationship with the National Film and Video Censors Board, (NFVCB). Just yesterday, a committee set up to review the existing Memorandum of Understanding between NFVCB and the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board, (LSFVCB) was inaugurated. This to us in Lagos State heralds a new beginning towards having disagreement in the area of fixing fees for practitioners and in addressing the bottlenecks inhibiting the growth of our practitioners.

“The state government is also in the process of establishing Tourism Development Trust Fund to provide succor to practitioners in the industry in time of need, this is one of the area that the pandemic had assisted in bringing to fore the more.

“The state is already one of the top five in Africa when it comes to tourism, but our plan is to occupy the first position in Africa in the area of Tourism activities and this, I strongly believe, is achievable.

She also assured that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture will open conversation with the Ministry of Waterfront Infrastructure Development and other relevant MDAs of the government to explore profitable partnership in this area that would ultimately lead to a more vibrant tourism and entertainment sector specifically leveraging on the waterways potential.

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