Lagos Ready To Emerge As Hub For Tourism And Entertainment In Africa 

Lagos Ready To Emerge As Hub For Tourism And Entertainment In Africa 

…Says Sector Key To State’s Economic Growth, Youth Empowerment

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday said the State is more than ready to take the driving seat for the development of Tourism, Arts and Entertainment in Africa.

Governor Ambode, who spoke on a programme on Ben TV, United Kingdom, as a prelude to the ongoing Notting Hill Carnival, said his administration in the last 27 months has made concerted efforts to fulfill one of his campaign promises to ensure that Lagos becomes the tourism and entertainment hub of Africa.

The Governor, who was represented at the programme by his Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Hon. Mrs Adebimpe Akinsola, said his administration was seriously implementing project T.H.E.S.E. an acronym for Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sporting Excellence to boost tourism, employment generation and relaxation especially for the youth.

“Under project T.H.E.S.E, we are resolved to grow the Lagos economy and empower the youth through several alternative means which include the tactical promotion of tourism, entertainment and sports.

“Our intention is to put Lagos on the world map as one of the top 10 tourist destinations because we know that the hospitality and entertainment business is thriving and that is the reason we are investing heavily on this sector. The truth is that the era of white collar job is over. The ultimate now is to encourage youth entrepreneurship and create a platform for our youths below 35 who are the future of tomorrow; because when they are engaged meaningfully they would contribute their quota towards increasing the IGR of the State,” the Governor said.

He also restated his commitment to build five new arts theatres across the State as part of efforts to engage the youths and promote tourism through arts and entertainment.

The Governor said the decision to participate in the Notting Hill Carnival holding from Saturday 26 to Monday 28 August, was to keep with the tradition of showcasing the State’s entertainment and tourism potentials to the world.

He said this year’s edition also coincided with Lagos 50th Anniversary celebration, saying that it would also offer opportunity to woo Nigerians in diaspora and tourists alike to visit Lagos.

“We are here again this year, the second year running in a global platform which the Notting Hill Carnival represents as it attracts people from all over the world. Our presence here is to attract not only Lagosians, but blacks generally that Lagos is now the destination that every one of them must come to.

“Lagos is having its own corner. Nigeria does not have a corner, no African country has a corner here, we are using Lagos corner to tell the world that we are prepared to be home for entertainment and tourism because it would drive the economy of Lagos, the 24/7 economy in such a way that anytime you come to Lagos, there is something to celebrate. So we invite our brothers in the diaspora to come and exploit the beauty of Lagos,” Governor Ambode said.

Investment In Sports Crucial To Winning Competitions

Investment In Sports Crucial To Winning Competitions

…Pledges To Increase Price Money For ITTF Nigeria Open

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday identified the right investment in sports as the necessary impetus that can bring about good performance of Nigerian athletes in sporting competitions, saying that it was time for the country to focus in such direction.

Governor Ambode, who made the reamrks while speaking to journalists at the end of the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open held at the Molade Okoya Thomas Hall of Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, tagged Lagos 2017, said government and all the necessary stakeholders must now invest more in sports to take the country to its rightful place in the world of sports.

He expressed excitement at the successful hosting of the tournament which attracted Table Tennis stars from 22 countries, saying that the development was gratifying and in line with his vision to use sports as a catalyst for growth and development of the economy.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left), with Nigeria table Tennis player, Aruna Quadri (left); representative of Sport Minister & Director, Federation & Elite Athlete Department, Mrs. Tayo Oreweme (2nd right) and President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, Engr. Ishaku Tikon (right) during the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, on Sunday, August 13, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left), with Nigeria table Tennis player, Aruna Quadri (left); representative of Sport Minister & Director, Federation & Elite Athlete Department, Mrs. Tayo Oreweme (2nd right) and President, Nigeria Table Tennis Federation, Engr. Ishaku Tikon (right) during the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, on Sunday, August 13, 2017.

He said: “We are very happy to have hosted this competition. This is the fourth edition and you can see that this year’s competition has actually attracted more people and then more countries. The idea is to use sports as a catalyst for the growth and development of the economy.

“It is also a catalyst for tourism and it is my strong believe that we must continue to support sports as a means of allowing us to develop the mental capabilities of younger ones and Lagos State is ready to do that.”

When asked whether he was disappointed that no Nigerian qualified for the finals of the competition, Governor Ambode said on the contrary, he was not disappointed but that the development called for greater investment in sports in the country.

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“I am not disappointed at all about that. It’s called Nigerian open and so it’s open to everybody and again we had Nigerians in the semifinal. So, we need to do more work and then more coaching and also develop sports. Government has to support sports thoroughly if you want to see Nigerians in the finals.

“I mean you can see the level of skill-set that the Egyptians displayed here and if we say we are giant of Africa, we have to prove it in all ramifications. So, my believe is that government has to spend more time and money in developing sports in this country,” Governor Ambode said.

Speaking on plans for the competition next year, the Governor promised to increase the price money and also the number of participating countries, saying that as the destination for sports in Africa, Lagos must lead the way in promoting sporting tournaments.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left), with Nigeria Table Tennis player, Bode Abiodun (left); Special Adviser to the Governor on Sports, Mr. Deji Tinubu (2nd right); and Vice President, ITTF Africa, Mr. Banji Oladapo (right) during the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, on Sunday, August 13, 2017.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (2nd left), with Nigeria Table Tennis player, Bode Abiodun (left); Special Adviser to the Governor on Sports, Mr. Deji Tinubu (2nd right); and Vice President, ITTF Africa, Mr. Banji Oladapo (right) during the Seamaster ITTF Challenge Nigeria Open at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere, on Sunday, August 13, 2017.

“For me, I am going to scale up the price money to attract more people to come for this competition. So next year, you will see more price money and then more countries participating in the competition. Lagos is the destination for sports in Africa and that is the only way we have to go,” the Governor said.

The overall winner of the competition, Assar Omar from Egypt, went home with $5,000, while the first runner up, Gandhi Sarthak from India went home with $2,300.

Evander Holyfield, The Greatest Living Boxer Of All Time

Evander Holyfield, The Greatest Living Boxer Of All Time

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday lauded the achievements of five-time world cruiserweight and heavyweight boxing champion, Evander Holyfield, describing him as the greatest living boxer of all times.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja when he received Holyfield on courtesy visit, said he was personally proud of the achievements of the legend in the boxing field, and described him as a great role model.
Holyfield, who is billed to slug it out with former Lagos State Governor and National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at an exhibition boxing match, is in Lagos as part of activities marking the Golden Jubilee anniversary of the State, and to also give back to the society through his foundation.
The Governor, who described the visit of the boxing legend to Lagos as historic, said there was no better way to showcase sports as catalyst for growth than the collaboration of such an icon as Holyfield.
“This is exciting and historic moment for us coming at a time Lagos is celebrating the 50 years of its establishment and we want to say a big thank you to Holyfield for collaborating with us to put this as part of events marking the Golden Jubilee anniversary of Lagos State.
“We believe strongly that in all sectors that we have tried to celebrate Lagos, this is one momentous topic that we really mean to celebrate. As a government, we have always wanted to use sports as a way of driving our economy and there is no way we can showcase sports as the catalyst for economic growth than bringing somebody who is a champion; a revered person and for him to use his God given talent and resources to promote sports in our State,” Governor Ambode said.
While noting the vision of the Evander Holyfield Foundation to nurture young stars and future boxers, as well as the issues relating to promotion of health and wellbeing of the people, Governor Ambode pledged to partner with the foundation to ensure that the set objectives are achieved, especially with regards to the people of the State.
The Governor described Holyfield as the living greatest boxer of all times, a sport icon and a champion who he is proud of his achievements, adding that the visit to Nigeria would also be used to trace the roots of the boxer back to Lagos.
“I love the concept that you want to pay back and that is the essence of leadership which is to be able to touch humanity. There are very many people that go away from their stardom and not pay back and so many champions have not been able to do anything after leaving the ring but Holyfield stand as an exception.
“On the other side, boxing should now be in the front burner of sports in Nigeria especially now that a Nigerian, Anthony Joshua recently won as the unified world heavyweight champion.
“Lagos has the largest concentration of the black people in the world and we just believe that Lagos should be well projected the visit by the boxing legend is also to promote the brand called Lagos,” Governor Ambode said.
Earlier, Holyfield said he was in Nigeria to give back to the society having achieved so much in life especially in boxing.
While recalling how he started boxing at the young age of 8 and became champion at 9, Holyfield said he felt like quitting after initially suffering defeats but his mother told him to hang on.
“I became the person I am because I listened, I followed direction and I did not quit even when I lost. In giving back to the society, I am here to say I got a Real Deal Promotion. We are looking for young fighters who want to listen and follow instruction.
“This is about giving back to the society. I want kids to learn from me how I became four times heavyweight champion,” Holyfield said.
He also announced donation of $3million worth of health equipment to Lagos State Government, a gesture which Governor Ambode commended and urged other sports legends and individuals to emulate

Lagos Plans Star-Studded Concert For Golden Jubilee Celebration

Lagos Plans Star-Studded Concert For Golden Jubilee Celebration

…Thanks Sponsors, Media, Lagosians For Support  

The Lagos State Government has concluded plans to host the best of Nigerian traditional and contemporary popular musicians and fashionistas to an anniversary concert to round off the unprecedented year-long activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the creation of the State.

A statement issued on Thursday by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, stated that the event tagged ‘Lagos State Golden Concert’ will hold at the Bar-Beach on Sunday, May 28 and is expected to draw thousands of Lagosians from all walks of life to the venue.

The statement added that the concert which is billed to hold from 2pm will have in attendance the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Members of the State Executive Council, Members of the State House of Assembly as well as party chieftains and corporate players from the Organized Private Sector.

According to the statement, some of the confirmed artistes gracing the show include the juju music maestros – King Sunny Ade and Evangelist Ebenezer Obey as well as the legendry Highlife Patriarch, Sir Victor Olaiya.

Other superstars on board are Davido, Phyno, Olamide, Humble Smith, Adekunle Gold, Lil Kesh, Partoranking, ‘Mr Capable’ Banky W, Runtown, Vanessa, MI, Eedris Abdulkareem, Mr. Eazi, and DJ Spinall.

Also expected are star Fuji artistes like Adewale Ayuba, Abass Akande Obesere and Wasiu Alabi (Pasuma Wonder).

According to Ayorinde, the Lagos State Golden Concert will serve as an ecstatic climax for the year-long activities that have been celebrating the cultural essence of the State since May 27, 2016.

“It will also serve as a bridge between the activities for Lagos @ 50 which will formally come to a close with an anniversary ball on Saturday May 27 and the second year anniversary of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s administration on Monday May 29th 2017,” he said.

The Commissioner said the Golden Concert will further attest to the State Government’s commitment to the promotion of tourism, arts, culture and entertainment in the State and how musicians and creative artistes, like fashion designers and models, help in sustaining a vibrant, creative economy that has made Lagos State the cynosure of all eyes in Africa.

The statement thanked the media and corporate sponsors whose generous contributions have sustained the year-long anniversary as well as every Lagosian whose support, encouragement and enthusiastic participation made the Lagos @ 50 Celebration undoubtedly the most publicized event of the year across Nigeria.