The Lagos State Government is presently drafting a first time Mater-plan policy aimed at revolutionizing the Tourism and Entertainment Industry in the State in 10 years.
The proposed Master plan which is first of its kind is directed towards addressing issues of human capital development; marketing and promotion for global standards; increasing tourist traffic in Lagos; providing opportunities to boost the economy; improving working conditions; development of the Slave Route Project; and ensuring the security and safety of tourists, among others.
The State Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Pharm. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, who disclosed this on Tuesday during the Ministerial Briefing marking the strides of the Babajide Sanwo-Olu led Administration in one year, disclosed that the policy which is undergoing stakeholders’ creative contributions will be tabled to the State’s Executive Council for approval and onward transmission to the Lagos State House of Assembly for approval.
Akinbile-Yusuf who lamented the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Tourism and Entertainment sector in the State, mentioned that despite the shortfalls, the Ministry was able to generate revenue running into millions.
According to her, between the month of January and February of the year 2020 in review, the Ministry had generated over N20m.
“The Tourism and Entertainment sector is currently bedeviled by the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic which had dealt a deadly blow on the tourism industry globally. However, the KPI of the Ministry at the beginning of the year in terms of its revenue generation pointed positively to the commitment of the Ministry to meet its Revenue target,” she said.
She stated that in line with the Lagos State Hotels and Establishments Licencing Law CAP. H6 of 2003 amend and signed into Law in July, 2010, the Ministry had in the one year period stimulated monitoring and enumeration of existing hospitality and tourism establishments towards issuing of registration and standardization of the Hospitality and Tourism Industry to satisfy international best practices.
She mentioned that based on the necessity to boost development in the sector, the Ministry in the last annual calendar, strengthened the measures to maintain and sustain relationships with tourism associations, practitioners, promoters and investors in the State.
The Commissioner added that over 200 Hospitality and Tourism establishments were registered between the period under review, among other licenses granted to operators in the industry.
She however, mentioned that the State Government is working to conclude plans on the new guidelines for operators in the sector, as considerations to fully reopen the economy are been strengthened.
“It is the desire of the State Government that the businesses of these operators are back and functional. We are also mindful of the fact that this sector is one of the highest employers of Labour compared to other sectors. This implies that these businesses not to function would lead to loss of jobs for several thousands of Lagosians,” she said.
She stressed that given the significance to guide against loss of lives, the State is ready to give critical considerations to strategic modalities from Stakeholders for a prompt decision on reopening of businesses in the sector.
Lamenting that several tourism related outfits are still operating without licences and government documentation, she called on such operators to proceed for regularising their facilities with the Government for proper planning, documentation and possible palliatives.
She said: “We are aware that majority of owners of Tourism and Entertainment related businesses are presently agitating for government’s intervention due to the effect of COVID-19 on the survival of their businesses, but it is saddening that most of these outfits were not even captured under registered businesses in the State.”
On the list of accomplishments of the Ministry in the period under review include; equipping and furnishing the Badagry Heritage Museum with artefacts, cultural items, relics, and traditional items of historical value; the completion of four theatres in Oregun, Badagry, Epe and Igando.
According to the Commissioner, the theatres which have been opened for public use after commissioning, are to serve as cultural centres where both the tangible and intangible cultural and traditional heritage of Lagos will be identified, rebranded and developed, while targeting the youths for entrepreneurial opportunities in Arts and Culture.
She lamented that the COVID-19 pandemic had forestall a number of planned events among which include a 3-day-to-day fun-packed Easter Celebration, scheduled to boost social and tourist activities in the State.
According to her, Projects undergoing reconstruction and rehabilitation include the redevelopment of the J.K Randle Centre and the Glover Memorial Hall, both of which are effected to complement cultural and historical edifices in the State, in a bid to stimulate economic activities in the sector.
On monitoring and enforcement of film and video production, the Commissioner mentioned that, the Lagos State Film and Video Censors Board (LSFVCB) scaled its effort to guide against illegal practices by operators across several areas in local governments of the State, adding that the operations led to the arrest of several unlicensed operators and marketers of uncensored and pornographic films.
She added that in a bid to address the deficit in film production infrastructure and maximise the economy of movie in the State, a project tagged “Film Village” was instituted, with a procurement of an 85 hectares of land situated at Ejirin.