L-R: The Director-General of Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), Mr Folorunsho Coker; Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf; Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat; Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Fatai Oluwa; Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon Solomon Bonu and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Tunji Seymour at the Public Presentation of Lagos State Tourism Master Plan & Policy held on Thursday, July 1, 2021 , at the Adeyemi Bero, Auditorium, Alausa Ikeja. (NAN)
By Oluwatope Lawanson
Lagos, July 1, 2021 (NAN) Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, has urged the three tiers of government to collaborate on issues of tourism to ensure development of the sector.
Mohammed gave the advice at the Public Presentation of the Lagos Tourism Master Plan and Policy on Thursday in Lagos.
The information minister, represented by Mr Folorunsho Coker, Director-General, Nigeria Tourism Development Commisson (NTDC), said that taxation of the tourism industry should be in conformity with the three tiers of government.
“This is the time for collaboration and not competition between all tiers of government, if there is competition between members of the State and Federal on issues relating to tourism the progress will be distorted,” he said.
The minister noted that the Lagos economy could sustain local tourism but stressed the need for alignment of policies in taxation and legislation,
He further called on the government to harness its tourism potentials as Lagos was the heartbeat of Nigeria and Sub-Sahara Africa.
Mohammed, however urged the media to practice developmental journalism to market Nigeria tourism in a positive light.
“Do not de-market or devalue Nigeria to the world”, the minister advised.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu described the event as a critical step to further unlock aspects of Lagos toward becoming Africa’s tourism giant.
Sanwo-Olu, represented by Deputy Gov. Obafemi Hamzat, said the state had taken decisive steps to explore the abundant possibilities in the tourism sector.
He said that this had been done by giving practitioners and key stakeholders the opportunity to be directly involved in all state policies.
In her address, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, Lagos State Commissioner for Ministry for Tourism, Arts and Culture, said the master plan would further transform Lagos into a major African tourism and entertainment hub.
According to Akinbile-Yusuf, this can by achieve by exploring and promoting the potentials that abound in the state.
“The master plan will also integrate the thriving entertainment and arts industry as a viable platform to attract visitors and create jobs in Lagos state.
Also, Dr Adun Okupe, who is of the Red Clay Tourism Advisory and Faculty, Strategy, Lagos Business School, said there was need for urban tourism.
According to him, there is need to ensure that tourism is sustainable across-the-board.
“Tourism should be safe, inclusive, resilient and sustainable.
“ln tourism, there is also the need for accessibility, sustainability, urban planning and management, innovation and technology,” she said.
Okupe urged the government to create an enabling environment for the sector as tourism environment was a dynamic area.
Earlier in his welcome address. Mr Solomon Bonu, Special Adviser to Sanwo-Olu on Tourism, Arts and Culture, said that the essence of the Tourism Master Plan and Policy was to provide a more holistic approach for implementation of tourism.
Bonu said that the policy would allow activities across the state to be uniform and bring orderliness to the sector.
He noted that the ministry would be training 500 youths from the five IBILE (Ikeja, Badagry, lkorodu, Lagos-island and Epe) divisions of the state as tour guides.
“The tour guides will help in domesticating tourism activities in these local government areas.
“This will give tourists to the state a better experience as they would be guided by people with local knowledge of their respective communities,” Bonu said. (NAN)