LASG Reiterates Commitment To Development Of Tourism Sector, Begins N1b Disbursement To Practitioners

by Olamilekan Okeowo

With a fresh commitment to the development of the tourism sector in Lagos State, the state government has begun the disbursement of One Billion Naira (N1bn) seed capital to some tourism and hospitality sector practitioners in the state.

The symbolic presentation took place on the sidelines of the maiden edition of Lagos Tourism, Hospitality, Arts and Culture Economic Summit, LATHACE held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, recently.

The presentation was made by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mrs. Folashade Jaji, on behalf of the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu at the event organised by the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN, Lagos State Chapter, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism.

The governor appreciated the organisers for partnering with the State Government in ensuring the sustenance of the tourism and recreation sector.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that his administration has put in place policies and strategies that would enhance the opportunities available to advance the State’s tourism potentials, just as efforts are being put in place to discover more tourism sites and also bring the existing ones to international standards.

“The synergy between government, private sector investors and entrepreneurs will ensure steady and sustainable growth of the tourism and recreation sector in Lagos State. 

“There are opportunities available for private investors and entrepreneurs to develop tourist sites and it is my privilege to inform you that UNESCO has certified “Sungbo Eredo” in the Epe Division as a World Heritage site which can be developed to boost tourism potentials in Lagos State”, he said.

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The Governor also stated that plans to establish a Film City in the State are on course, disclosing that the State Government has secured 100 hectares of land for this purpose with preliminary strategies ongoing.

He urged FTAN and other discussants at the event to leverage on the platform provided by the Summit to advance the tourism sector by coming up with strategies that would aid the development of Lagos State Tourism and provide a guide on how to domesticate tourism sites while elevating them to international standards, through the involvement of the private sector.

Sanwo-Olu expressed the belief that with the support of the main actors in the sector, the Government’s aim of making Lagos the first to be reckoned with in the area of tourism and recreation will be possible and achievable.

Revealing some efforts of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in promoting synergy with the stakeholders, the Commissioner, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, stated that the Government approved a 50 percent rebate for the practitioners in the payment of their operating licence fees for the year 2020.

She stated that the presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries of the N1 billion loan shows that the initiative is not only real but transparent and sincere on the part of the Ministry.

The Lagos State Chapter Coordinator of FTAN, Mr. Gbenga Sunmonu, had earlier promised that the Association will re-double its efforts to increase its contributions to the State’s GDP, create and recreate wealth through the promotion of domestic tourism as well as the creation of volunteers for different aspects of Tourism.

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Sunmonu explained that the Summit which focussed on Public-Private Partnership opened discussions on areas of concern for stakeholders in the tourism sector to review issues raised and improve the ease of doing business in the State.

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