Lagos State is known as the entertainment capital of Nigeria and this is rightfully so, as many of the major entertainment events and events in the country are affectionately referred to as the ‘land of water splendor’.
Uzamat Akınbile-Yusuf, Member of the State Responsible for Tourism, Art and Culture, also works with passion and introduces different innovations for the state to really stand out in this regard.
During the week, at a media conference in Ikoyi, Lagos, Akinbile-Yusuf talked about the ministry’s achievements since coming aboard. Governor Babajide thanked Sanwo-Olu for giving him the opportunity to lead the ministry for the past three years.
“The current state of entertainment, arts and tourism in Lagos State is not standalone, it is part of the governor’s THEMES agenda following the roadmap for continued growth of the state.
“We have not worked in isolation for nearly four years. Tourism cannot be talked about without discussing safety and transportation, among other things, so we are collaborating with other institutions and ministries to achieve all these achievements.”
The Commissioner also recalled that Governor Sanwo-Olu has approved the creation of a COVID-19 Pandemic Review Committee to review and assess the impact of the pandemic on the tourism industry in the province. The committee, chaired by veteran actress Joke Silva, recommended that the N1bn total be approved as single-digit soft loans for the state’s tourism and entertainment industry to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.
This is in addition to a 50 percent discount on registration and renewal fees for accommodation and tourism businesses in 2020.
Akınbile-Yusuf reiterated his belief that ‘Tourism, art, culture and entertainment are our oil, we can export and leverage to revive our economy in Lagos State’. According to him, this is what informed the establishment of the Lagos State Creative Industry Initiative, where various capacity building sessions are held for talented youth in the state. He added that the governor believes very much in the youth and is ready to support them in any way possible.
That said, thanks to the government’s partnership with industry stakeholders and experienced hands, such as the EbonyLife Academy, Del-York Academy, African Film Academy and Temple Studio, more than 3,000 young people in the creative industry are equipped with the necessary equipment. essential skills to take their careers to the next level. He added that some of the beneficiaries’ films were premiered at the prestigious 2022 Toronto International Film Festival.
Listing other achievements of the ministry, Akınbile-Yusuf reminded how the state entered the Guinness Book of Records for laying the largest cake mosaic in world history. In addition, a special interest-free loan was established for filmmakers labeled ‘Lagos Film Fund’; The renovation of the Glover Hall theater, the John Randle Yoruba Center for Culture and History were other milestones that helped put Lagos even further on the world map for tourism.
Recall that in 2021 Governor Sanwo-Olu launched the Lagos tourism masterplan and policy to lay the foundation for developing a comprehensive and sustainable tourism strategy for the state.
Akınbile-Yusuf added that Lagos Cultural Village in Alimosho and Lagos Film City in Epe are other initiatives that have positively impacted the lives of many in the province.