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Stakeholders Unveil Plans in Advancing Lagos State Domestic Tourism

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June 20, (THEWILL)- With the “Best of Lagos” Project, government of Lagos State has emphasised its commitment position the state into a major tourism destination in Africa after it engaged various stakeholders in the tourism sector including tour operators, hoteliers, tourism promoters, boat owners, ambassadors among others on workable strategy and synergy in a two-day Tourism working Summit held at Dover Hotel, in Ikeja on the, 15th and 16th of June.

One of the lead discussants was Ambassador Ikechi Uko, Organiser Akwaaba Africa Travel Market, who during his presentation highlighted the beauty of coastal state.

According to him, Lagos State is bigger than most countries in Africa with over 20 million residents running the sixtth biggest economy in Africa. It is surrounded by water, the ocean and the lagoon with beautiful beaches and waterfront, it has everything a tourist would want. It has the longest bridge over water in Africa, twice voted as having the coolest neighbourhood in the world, and also selected by Playboy magazine as the Most Authentic Party City in the world.

Speaking further, Amb. Ikechi Uko said Lagos Island, for instance, has the whole colonial history of modern Nigeria but nobody is promoting the fact that the amalgamation of Nigeria was presented to Nigerians in Lagos. “Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom and Zungeru in Niger State are fighting for the Amalgamation Houses but not Lagos. There should be daily trekking tours of the island identifying the houses of founding fathers like Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Sir Ajasa after visiting Freedom Park and the new Brazilian Musuem,” Uko said.

Similarly the other lead discussant Dr Adun Okupe, a Tourism Advisory Consultant, urged Lagos State government to train tour operators and tour guides who were the front liners in order to arouse and sustain the interest of potential tourists. Okupe stressed the need for Lagos State to upgrade the tourism sites to international standard for the advancement of the economy and to generate more revenue, just as she called on government to work on orienting and improving the people’s perspective to see Lagos as a tourist centre.

Also speaking was the Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Fatai Oluwa, who said that the House of Assembly was in full support of the decision of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to domesticate tourism activities in the state.

According to him, the House of Assembly as part of its demonstration of interest in revamping the tourism sites across the state recently embarked on visitation to all monument sites in the state with the intention of upgrading the sites to international standard.

The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Phar. (Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, who set the agenda for discussion at the summit, urged the participants to seize the opportunity of the summit to build on the existing tourism products of the state.

According to her, the ministry had already ensured that structured plans were in place to develop existing tourism sites in the state to international standard, saying that involving of all key stakeholders in tourism activities is needed to bring the plans to fruition. She told them that the State Government has earmarked 100 Hectares of Land for the Lagos Film City to house Nollywood. This will come onboard in 2021. She used the Opportunity to introduce the 2021 Calendar of Events in Lagos.

Among those present during the summit were Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Fatai Oluwa; The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture,  Mrs.) Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf; Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor, Hon Solomon Bonu; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Tunji Saymour; Senior Advisor, Red Clay Advisory, Dr. Adun Okupe; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi; Amb. Ikechi Uko, Organiser Akwaaba Africa Travel Market. The event was anchored by Ambassador Nneka Isaac Moses of GOGE Africa.