Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has unveiled a 20-year Tourism Master Plan and Policy which focuses on making the State one of the top five tourism hubs in Africa.
According to Mr. Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, he stated that the tourism potential of the State is yet to be fully harnessed, as such the policy is an attempt to unlock it.
He said: “Since our assumption of office, over two years ago, we have taken decisive steps to explore the abundant possibilities in this very critical sector by giving the practitioners and key stakeholders an opportunity to be directly involved in each of our policies”.
He disclosed that the policy was developed with the consent of relevant stakeholders in the tourism industry, and will direct efforts in the tourism sector in strategic areas, namely: Culture and Heritage; Film, Art and Entertainment; Business and Meetings, Incentives; Conferences and Entertainment; Beach and Leisure; Nature and Adventure, and Medical and Wellness.
However, the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who was represented at the event by the Director-General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr. Folorunsho Coker explained the need for all tiers of government in the country to partner on issues relating to tourism.
He said: “This is the time for collaboration and not a competition between all tiers of government, if there is competition between members of the State and Federal Government on issues relating to tourism the progress will be distorted”.
The Minister pointed out that the Lagos economy can sustain local tourism, tasking journalists on responsible reportage so as not to devalue the State’s claims to a position of value.
In buttressing her point, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, stated that the Master Plan will further transform Lagos into a major African tourism and entertainment hub by exploring and promoting the potential that abound in the State, as well as integrating the thriving Entertainment and Arts industry as a viable platform to attract visitors and create jobs in Lagos State.
She added that the goal is to generate tourism revenue for business and government, which will lead to job creation, enhance the quality of life for Lagosians, align with the State’s development plans and domesticate tourism in Lagos.