The drive by the Lagos State Government to create a private sector driven tourism economy has earned the full confidence of multinational companies, notable entrepreneurs’ business owners and managers alike across the State.
This was the general consensus at a stakeholders review meeting held with sponsors of the Lagos Street Carnival and the forthcoming end of year eight days One Lagos Fiesta programme to be held across the five divisions of the State.
According to a statement by Mr. Fola Adeyemi, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, the Street Carnival was organized by Heat Limited in conjunction with the Ministry as a private sector driven programme of the State.
He disclosed that sponsors and investors are already lining up for the One Lagos Fiesta including, Guaranty Trust Bank, GLOBACOM, Nigeria Breweries Ltd, Pepsi Nigerian Plc, Access Bank, Dangote Nig. Plc, Multi choice, JMG Generators, Eko Atlantic City, Eko Hotels, South Energy X, among others.
Adeyemi said that aside the fact that the carnival was a private driven initiative and only backed with institutional support by the State Government, the private sector equally provided funds and support to ensure the success of the programme.
He said the quantum of tourism events in the State has taken an upward leap since 2015 with the emergence of the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode Administration and the state policy of project T.H.E.S.E which stands for Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and Sport for Excellence.
He recalled that expansion of the former Lagos Countdown event into One Lagos Fiesta, a multi-location event with simultaneous concerts across the five administrative divisions of the state and the huge success recorded, till date has further proven to the private sector that Governor Ambode’s statement that the creative industry hold the key to a booming economy in Lagos was fast becoming a reality.
“The vision of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to create a platform to support the creative industry has exposed the tourism potentials of the state with a multiplier effect across various sectors of the state economy.
“Smart business owners and investors found it difficult to close their eyes to such monumental business benefits. Lagos State has evolved as the tourism and entertainment hub of the country in the last two years with an average of over 12 crowd pulling tourism, entertainment and sports event in a year,” the Permanent Secretary said.
Adeyemi said that the organized private sector has now taken the marketing advantage derivable in supporting Lagos State tourism initiatives, because of the numerous opportunities available and transparency of Government in managing the funds.
“The overall effect of all this is that it has led to resultant growth in the local economy of the five divisions that serves as the venues of the OLF, increased job creation opportunities, innovations and boost in consumer product sales not only around the event venues but all over the state,” the Permanent Secretary said.