• State loses N12.8bn assets to fire
Moshood Adebayo; Jet Stanley Madu
Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has disclosed that the state’s tourism sector contributed about $2.2 billion (N800 billion) to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017.
With the infrastructure and resources, the state is currently deploying in the sector, the governor projected that the figure would double or triple in the next five years.
He spoke during the Lagos Tourism Summit with the theme: ‘Destination Lagos; Towards a sustainable tourism driven economy,’ at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island.
To make tourism the major sector of the Lagos economy, Ambode promised that his administration is planning a tourism master plan, which, he said, would be one of the legacies his administration will bequeath to Lagosians and coming generations.
He said: “This plan is the road map to be taken in the next couple of decades. It will focus on six sectors, culture and heritage, film, arts and entertainment business tourism, nature and adventure, medical and wellness, beach and leisure.
“The enormous resources we have deployed in physical and social infrastructure across the state will begin to crystalise, by December, into mega structures that will support tourism and market our state as a smart destination.”
Ambode also renewed his call for some national monuments to be given to the state government.
He said the government’s intention to take control of some national assets, like the former National Assembly complex, the National Stadium, National Museum and the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, is in a bid to make Lagos state a tourist hub.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has expressed readiness to partner the Olojo Festival Committee, which usually holds in Ile Ife, Osun State.
Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who disclosed this during the summit, said the festival is not only for the Yoruba New Year alone.
The minister described the Olojo as global festival, started by one of the past rulers of Ile Ife.
Former Ghanaian President, Mr. John Dramani Mahama, who delivered a keynote address, urged the Lagos state government to learn from the successes recorded by some other countries.
“We cannot develop tourism to the level that it can become a key driver of our economy, without development and solid infrastructure. Thankfully, Lagos in preparation for the launch of the state master plan, has started building and expanding critical infrastructure, including transportation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Lagos government, yesterday, said about 84 people died as a result of fire incidents with property worth N12.8 billion lost to fire in the past one year in the state. Commissioner for Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Mr. Oluseye Oladejo, who disclosed this, yesterday, also said emergency agencies salvaged property worth N76.9 billion.
He said 333 victims were rescued, while the agency recorded 202 rescue calls and 83 false calls.