The Lagos State Government will celebrate this year’s World Tourism Day on Sunday via a zoom event which will be livestream on Facebook for residents of the state.
Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, told newsmen on Thursday that a smaller number would join dignitaries at the physical event taking place at Lagos Theatre, Oregun, Ikeja.
She urged Lagos residents to link up on the zoom platform with the registration code: 84626867501 and password: 313855, promising a robust and interesting session.
“The Lagos State Government is set to be involved in the celebration of this year’s World Tourism Day, which has always been a custom for us in the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
“By this Sunday, starting from noon, the ministry will hold a hybrid intense, brainstorming and very incisive session, as a way of celebrating the WTD 2020.
“I encourage all participants to avail themselves of the opportunity to get entertained and learn more of Lagos culture,” she said.
Akinbile-Yusuf said that the panel of discussants would include the ministry’s past permanent secretaries and commissioners, as well as goodwill message from the Oniru of Iruland, Oba Omobolahan Lawal Abisogun II.
“We hope that the event would further enhance our road map for the ministry to discover more tourism sites for development, hence, we are involving tourism stakeholders across the state’s five divisions.
“This year’s celebration is very unique and peculiar in the history of the entire world, coming at a time when tourism activities is suffering a serious setback due to the inactivity in the sector, occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu reiterated at the last Exco Retreat that the pandemic will not be a reason for non-performance, or an hindrance for the delivery of his Greater Lagos mandate, premised on the THEMES Agenda,” she said.
The commissioner noted that the Ministry was working hard to transform Lagos State into a tourism and entertainment hub in Africa by exploring and promoting the potentialities that abound in the state.
She said that this transformation would support the thriving entertainment and arts industry as a viable platform to attract visitors and also create jobs in the state.
Akinbile-Yusuf stated that the ministry was producing a documentary on inventing new destinations such as film village, musical concert arena, medical wellness and relevant forms of public-private partnership arrangements.
According to the commissioner, the ministry will also be launching its website before the end of the fourth quarter this year.
“The ministry is developing a Lagos video that will tell the story of Lagos in terms of creativity, artifacts, artworks, hospitality, fashion, food, culture, entertainment, festivals and heritage.
“Collaboration is on with relevant agencies and private sectors, to display the video on all social media, local and international flights, hotels, electronic billboards across the state, television stations among others.
“We are leveraging on our investment in tourism for job and wealth creation, to curb youth restiveness, discover new tourism potential and ultimately contribute significantly to the GDP of the state,” she said.
According to her, the state government is in the process of establishing Tourism Development Trust Fund to provide succour to practitioners in the industry in time of need.
The commissioner stated that the ministry had embarked on building the J.K. Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History and Glover Memorial Hall.
“ J.K. Randle Centre, when completed, will create avenues for the younger generations to have a place to develop their talents and skills.
“This will serve a multi-functional purpose with rich contents that will be culturally, traditionally and historically beneficial to indigenes of Lagos State and the Yoruba speakers as a whole.
“The Glover Memorial Hall is also another historic edifice that represents one of the rich heritage sites in Lagos State for the revitalisation and stimulation of the entertainment space with a lot of varieties and dynamics,” she said.
Earlier, Mr Ikechi Uko, Technical Assistant for Lagos State on World Tourism Day celebration, said that the programme would be an hybrid one that would set good standards for other events in the state.
Uko noted that current technological gadgets would be employed to ensure full participation of all Lagos residents.
He congratulated Gov. Sanwo-Olu for having successfully flattened the COVID-19 curve in the state.