Federation of Tourism Association of Nigeria (FTAN) Coordinator, Lagos State Chapter, Mr Gbenga Sunmonu, has said that Lagos state government will on Thursday present cheques to some stakeholders in the tourism, art and culture sector who have been selected as beneficiaries of its N1 billion intervention fund.
The state government approved the seed capital for investment in tourism, arts and culture last August. It is part of the intervention fund to cushion the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
Sunmonu, who spoke at a briefing with tourism writers, at the weekend in Lagos, said the presentation would douse the doubts among some stakeholders about the sincerity of the state to cushion the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the sector.
He stated that the presentation of cheques will be done at the opening of the maiden edition of Lagos State Tourism Hospitality, Art and Culture Economic Summit (LATHACE 2021) at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island Lagos. “It will be a transformative channel to clear the trust deficit between private and public sectors and be a good base to develop plans that will assist the development of industry players,” he assured.
According to Sunmonu the two-in-one intensive programme would attract stakeholders from both public and private sectors to discuss issues that touch on tourism, arts and culture industry, adding that it is the first of its kind with an objective to solve specific industry needs. “It is a platform for private-public sector interaction, whereby Lagos State ministries that relate directly with tourism, hospitality, arts, and culture will have their desks set up for interaction and information dissemination. This is to resolve issues and set up the agenda for the way forward post COVID-19,” he stated.
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu, will be Special Guest of Honour while Managing Partner of Verraki Partners Mr. Olaniyi Yusuf is guest speaker. Sunmonu noted that the panelists will include Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Chief Sam Alabi, Lagos State Commissioner for Finance Dr, Rabiu Olowo and Chairman LIRS Mr. Ayodele Subair.
The programme will be a hybrid summit, that is, physical and virtual and will be an inclusive programme as about 23 agencies of government related to all segments of the industry will be there and will have the opportunity of interacting with key stakeholders.
To Sunmonu, the summit will be a fresh pedestal to create new vista for development of Lagos tourism. the Summit will create opportunities to solve any lingering issues with any agency of the Lagos State government and open a new vista of relationship in moving forward.
He urged all concerned stakeholders to endeavour to attend the summit to brainstorm on ways forward for the industry.
Vice President, FTAN South-West zone, Otunba Ayo Olumoko said that whatever happens in Lagos forms the templates other states are waiting for. He said that the summit was being organised at the right time and prayed that after the summit, the industry will not be relegated to the background.
“The economic summit will be a practical aspect of what we need to do which government of the day of Lagos State will be expected to make some policy statements,” he said.
He noted that the hospitality, tourism and the entertainment industry have been most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Olumoko said that other State Chapters of the association will emulate this summit and would enable the various stakeholders fashion a direction on the way forward for the industry.