UNWTO/CAF Meeting: We’ll Showcase Lagos Tourism Potentials To The World- FG

UNWTO/CAF Meeting: We’ll Showcase Lagos Tourism Potentials To The World- FG

… Our Quest To Become Tourism Hub Of Africa On Course

The Federal Government on Thursday said that it has concluded plans to use its hosting right of the 61st edition of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)/ Commission for Africa (CAF) Meeting to showcase the culture and tourism potentials of Lagos and Nigeria in general.

Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who disclosed this during a courtesy visit to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the Lagos House, Alausa in Ikeja, said Lagos would play a significant role in the success of the meeting considering its economic position in Nigeria and also as a foremost tourism city.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right); Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (4th right); Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (4th left); Special Assistants to the President, Office of the Minister of Information & Culture, Mr. Williams Adeleye (3rd left); Mr. Segun Adeyemi (2nd right); Director, Federal Ministry of Information & Culture, Mrs. Ronke Wole-Fasanya (right); Deputy Director, Ms Dorothy Duruaku (2nd left); Assistant Director, Mr. Aliyu Abana (left); Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh (middle behind) and Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right behind)  during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Governor, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (3rd right); Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed (4th right); Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde (4th left); Special Assistants to the President, Office of the Minister of Information & Culture, Mr. Williams Adeleye (3rd left); Mr. Segun Adeyemi (2nd right); Director, Federal Ministry of Information & Culture, Mrs. Ronke Wole-Fasanya (right); Deputy Director, Ms Dorothy Duruaku (2nd left); Assistant Director, Mr. Aliyu Abana (left); Special Adviser to the Governor on Education, Mr. Obafela Bank-Olemoh (middle behind) and Commissioner for Works & Infrastructure, Engr. Ade Akinsanya (right behind) during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Governor, at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

He said though the UNWTO/CAF Meeting would hold in Abuja from June 4th to 6th, 2018, a major part of the event, tagged Technical Visit, would be held at the Eko Atlantic City, adding that the decision to hold the visit in Lagos was strategic and pivotal to the overall success of the programme.

“The choice is not an accident. It is designed to showcase to the world a city that promises to be a tourism haven, with the largest shopping mall in sub-Saharan Africa and a city which also boasts of vast amenities for entertainment, such as food courts, cinemas and playgrounds, an ample parking space and a canal that can be used for water transportation and water sports,” Mohammed said.

He said during the day-long Technical Visit, Governor Ambode would also play host to top executives of the UNWTO, African Tourism Ministers and a select group of local and international media, saying that it would be the major highlight of the meeting and that Lagos was better positioned to host it.

“The meeting will give Nigeria the opportunity to showcase itself to the world especially in the area of its culture and tourism and of course, we have a lot to showcase; our tourism attractions, our rich culture, as well as our music and films which have take the world by storm”.

The Minister said the UNWTO, a leading international organisation for tourism with a global membership of 158 members and over 500 Affiliate members unanimously gave Nigeria the hosting right for the Meeting during its 59th Meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in April 2017, noting that it was a reflection of the growing positive perception of Nigeria by the international community.

He said the Meeting, which has the theme “Tourism Statistics: A Catalyst For Development”, would be attended by mostly delegates drawn from the 51 member states of the Commission for Africa, the Executives of UNWTO, International Organisations, local and international media as well as experts and stakeholders from the public and private sector.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right), with Minister of Information & Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed during the Minister’s courtesy visit to the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, April 12, 2018.

Thanking the Governor for the strong support so far towards the success of the meeting, the Minister commended the move by the State Government to hold a Tourism Summit on Monday, saying that the development was in line with the Federal Government’s quest to make Nigeria a top tourism destination in Africa.

“We will not only be participating at the summit, we will also be making a presentation that showcases Nigeria as the preferred destination for tourists”, he said.

Responding Governor Ambode said the State Government was pleased to support moves by the Federal Government to preserve the rich culture and heritage of the nation, adding that his administration was also working hard to make the State the tourism hub of Africa.

“So, we are in tandem with your vision and aspirations to make sure that we tell Nigerians the way our story was and the way our story is and also be able to tell outsiders who we are and who we want to be. So, for me it’s a no brainer that I need to support you because this is also in line with what we believe strongly that Nigerians ought to do.

“In the last three years, we have tried as much as possible to promote our heritage and also promote our languages. We do not want a situation where the Nigerian culture which is so rich and diverse will become extinct and that is why we must do everything in our own capacity to ensure that everything that the Federal Government is doing through the Ministry of Information and Culture, in bringing the unity of Nigerian together, is supported by this government,” Governor Ambode said.

Pledging the support of the State Government for the success of the UNWTO/CAF Meeting, Governor Ambode assured that his administration would continue to provide the necessary infrastructure that would attract tourists to the State.

We want to showcase Lagos as a tourist State; our drive is to make Lagos the tourist hub of Africa; we are getting near it; we are providing tourism infrastructure and you could see because tourism is not so much about what you see; it’s about the infrastructure that makes it to happen – the roads, the airport, the ease of doing business, the warmth and then the strength of the people because there is so much energy in the spirit of Lagos,” the Governor said.

Lagos Promises Spectacular One Lagos Fiesta Finale

Lagos Promises Spectacular One Lagos Fiesta Finale

…KSA, Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Others Headline Eko Atlantic’s Grand Concert

The Lagos State Government on Saturday promised Lagosians and visitors a world-class, spectacular finale for the ongoing One Lagos Fiesta holding simultaneously across the five divisions of the state.

An array of A-list artistes, a new set of talented youths that emerged from the Lagos Grows Talent (LGT) competition and a spectacular display of fireworks are some of the “special effects” lined up for the countdown concert, which will usher in the new year and draw the star-studded fiesta to a close at the Eko Atlantic City in Victoria Island, Agege Stadium, Ikorodu Town Hall, Badagry Grammar School and Epe Marina waterfront.

In a press statement signed by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, the 8-Day, 5-Centre fiesta has again highlighted Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s passionate commitment to the promotion of art and culture, development of entertainment and tourism and using the creative sector to engage and empower the teeming youths in the State.

An estimated 300,000 people have thronged the five locations of the fiesta on a daily basis in a multi-dimensional arrangement that has made it Africa’s biggest end-of-the-year artistic event.

“It is a fiesta that has provided direct, indirect and induced jobs to more than 6,000 people like musicians, dancers, technicians, stall owners, brand ambassadors, food and beverage sellers as well as security guards and transport services owners,” Ayorinde said.

He added that the Victoria Island zone for tomorrow’s grand finale will hold inside the sprawling Eko Atlantic City as against the Bar Beach end where the first seven days fiesta held since December 24.

According to the Commissioner, the fiesta train is needed to move from Bar Beach to Eko Atlantic City in order to better appreciate the spectacular display of fireworks that will herald the New Year at exactly 12 midnight on Sunday.

He assured that adequate parking provision has been made for those coming in their cars while shuttle buses would be available at the Bar Beach end from 6pm to take guests into the Eko Atlantic venue where some of Nigeria’s biggest artistes like King Sunny Ade, Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, Falz the Bad Guy, Adekunle Gold, Simi, Humble Smith and Osupa Saheed among others will stage a world-class performance that will be broadcast live on various national and international television and online stations.

Ayorinde added that the same high standard that will be experienced at Eko Atlantic will be seen at the other four venues to give Lagosians a memorable countdown/crossover night experience, in tandem with Governor Ambode’s electoral promise that every part of the State would be carried along in all of government activities.

“The Governor is impressed and happy that citizens’ participation in the fiesta has been exemplary across the five zones and that in spite of the unprecedented turn-out, crowd control has been effective; people have conducted themselves responsibly and no untoward incident has happened,” he said.

The statement conveyed the Governor’s best wishes to Lagosians and urged them to continue in this orderly and peaceful manner till the end of the fiesta tomorrow.

The Governor also expressed gratitude to NBplc, South Energy X, Eko Atlantic, GTBank, Access Bank Plc, Eko Hotels LTD, Pepsi, Dangote Group and JMG among other sponsors and partners whose support has not only made the OLF 2017 incomparable, but has also further developed the creative economy of the State.

Lagos Economy Benefits As December Records Huge Spending

Lagos Economy Benefits As December Records Huge Spending

…Cash Transaction Increased By N50bn In Four Weeks

The Lagos State economy has received a major boost as spendings in the creative sector records an estimated N50bn cash transactions in the first three weeks of December, according to reports monitored by the Lagos State Government.

The peak in entertainment activities and the huge influx of people from neighboring states and the Diaspora on holiday visits have impacted positively on the economy of the state at a time that corporate sponsorship of the creative sector has also recorded an appreciable growth.

In a press statement released on Thursday by the State’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, various reports, statistics and analyses monitored over the last few days captured an estimated additional spending of about N50bn in the creative entertainment sector alone within the State in the last 25days, thereby reinforcing the profile of the state as the hub of entertainment and tourism and the economic capital of West Africa.

Ayorinde said reports monitoring the current trends show multi-billion naira spendings in hotel accommodations across the State; alcohol and beverage consumption as well as culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas; fees for musicians, their handlers and technical staffs as well as ancillary businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys, specialized taxis and private security guards that all contribute into the tourism and entertainment sectors.

“What this cash-enabled December has shown is a massive growth in the creative economy sector in Lagos State. The entire state is agog, hotels are fully booked from Victoria Island to Ikeja, Epe and Badagry. There is a renewed sense of fun among the citizens and visitors. The volume of entertainment content being created for the pleasure of the citizens and media is unprecedented right from the beginning of the month.

“COPA Lagos Beach Soccer Tournament at Eko Atlantic was a combination of football and musical performances. The Lagos Street Carnival was a demonstrable evidence of the government’s assurance that security and traffic management can now be taken for granted in the state when big shows happen. New cinemas are being launched and all are recording huge box office takings. Four of Africa’s biggest musicians – Olamide, Falz, Wizkid and Davido – have had the biggest concert productions in Africa in the past one week. All in Lagos.

“And we have now entered Day 5 of the 8-day, 5-centre One Lagos Fiesta that is featuring more than 700 artistes, if you add dancers, instrumentalists and participants at the Lagos Grows Talent component of the fiesta. This is an extra-ordinary entertainment value chain that is impacting on the pockets and wellbeing of the people. This is an economic reality that you can only get in Lagos State.”

The Commissioner said not only is this remarkable development in tandem with the vision of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, to make Lagos the creative nerve-centre in Africa, but also to assure corporate sponsors and tourists that the state security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing creative economy landscape.

He said: “This Government has found a nexus between art and prosperity. Part of what we have done with care in the past two and half year is to develop and nurture the entertainment value chain that feeds the creative economy of the state. We are aware and happy that industries in the creative economy supported more than 500,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the past 30 months, cutting across music promotion, live entertainment, motion picture, digital media, live theatre and cinemas as well as fashion and culinary businesses.

“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state is feeling the impact of government in terms of participation in the arts, infrastructural development, security and social amenities.”

Ayorinde said this season had become a “December to remember” and expresses the State Government’s gratitude to the Organised Private Sector that is supporting the OLF and the other entertainment events that have drawn hundreds of thousands of visitors to Lagos from other states and abroad, knowing that the state is safe and there are limitless entertainment options to choose from”.

The statement urged citizens who are trooping out daily to places of interest to follow the advice of the Police to be vigilant, exercise caution and moderation and be law-abiding, assuring them that the crime-free situation will be sustained throughout the year in order for the state to maintain its preeminent position as the preferred destination of choice in West Africa.

Remarks Delivered At The Unveiling Of The “Liberation” Statue In Honour Of Fela Anikulapo Kuti At Allen Avenue Roundabout, Ikeja

Remarks Delivered At The Unveiling Of The “Liberation” Statue In Honour Of Fela Anikulapo Kuti At Allen Avenue Roundabout, Ikeja

Today, we have come together to remember and to honour legend who challenged us all as individuals and as a people to free our minds from all inhibitions and actualise our true potentials. Fela Anikulapo Kuti, twenty years after his death, is still alive as a movement of social consciousness and justice against oppression in our society.

Fela made the world sit up and take notice of the energy of African art and music. Fela was an enigmatic artiste, who used the platform of his art to agitate for social and human rights by challenging the government and people to explore development through social and economic activities that are rooted in African values. Fela will forever be accorded his position in the Global “Hall of Fame” of artistes.

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The phenomenon that the world knows as “Fela” was deeply rooted in the evolution of Lagos State. The story of music, art, entertainment and tourism in Lagos and Nigeria cannot be told without an eloquent mention of the “Abami eda”.

On this day, October 15th, which would have been Fela’s 79th birthday, the government and people of Lagos State celebrate ‘’Fela’’ with the unveiling of this Liberation Statue.  It has been 20 years since he passed on but the memories he left us with remain evergreen. Today we celebrate a man who voluntarily turned his back on a life of comfort and privilege, and took up his saxophone as a weapon to fight for the liberation of our people from neo-colonialism and bad governance.

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This “Liberation” statue is not an image of Fela but a symbol of Fela’s philosophy. This artwork was created as a form of respect and remembrance to this legend; what he stood for and fought for with his music; his mythology; struggle for freedom; fight for human dignity; social consciousness; courage and Pan-Africanism.

We want to use this opportunity to reiterate the continued commitment of the Lagos State Government to fully harness the potentials of entertainment, creative arts and tourism to transform the economy of Lagos State and generate wealth and job opportunities for our people.

Our government identifies with the spirit of limitless opportunities offered by the creative sector and will support entertainment entrepreneurs to achieve their dreams. We want to create a vibrant arts and culture sector that would empower our young and talented population to find their own voices and impact society positively.

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Ladies and gentlemen, Fela would have been 80 years next year and for his contribution to music, art and entertainment in Lagos, Nigeria and Africa, should be immortalised. Fela deserves to be celebrated with many more monuments and different artistic expressions.

Today, he is still alive in his music and in the music of Femi, Seun and other artistes who have followed his style of music. This monument we have unveiled today should be the first of many to celebrate the icon who gave us afro beat.

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I thank members of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s family for their support which contributed immensely to making this event a reality.  I also commend you for immortalising this great Nigerian and African with the annual Felabration event. The spirit of “Fela” lives on in our hearts.

Thank you all.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!

 

Akinwunmi Ambode,

Governor of Lagos State,

Alausa.

 

15th October, 2017.