The Lagos State Government, on Thursday, commenced the disbursement of the N1 billion seed capital for the tourism and hospitality sector approved by the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to some of the beneficiaries. This is for investment in the sector to help drive new growth in the industry which has been severely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The symbolic cheques were presented to the beneficiaries by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Folashade Jaji, on behalf of the Governor at the maiden edition of Lagos Tourism, Hospitality, Arts and Culture Economic Summit, LATHACE held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos on Thursday, March 25, 2021.
The Governor, who spoke through the SSG at the event organised by the Federation of Tourism Associations of Nigeria, FTAN, Lagos State Chapter, in collaboration with the Ministry, appreciated the organisers for partnering with the State Government in ensuring the sustenance of the tourism and recreation sector.
Speaking on the theme for the event, “Public-Private Partnership for Sustainable Growth of the Tourism, Arts and Culture Industry for a Greater Lagos,” Sanwo-Olu said that the choice of the theme attests to the importance which his administration attaches to a public-private partnership.
He said that though the tourism and recreation industry in Nigeria contributes approximately 6% to the GDP, there are still opportunities for growth in the sector, which could be strengthened through collaboration with the private sector to harness its full potentials.
Sanwo-Olu informed the gathering that his administration has put policies and strategies in place to enhance the opportunities available to advance the State’s tourism potentials, just as efforts are being put in place to discover more tourism sites and also bring the existing ones to international standards.
The Governor said, “The synergy between government, private sector investors and entrepreneurs will ensure steady and sustainable growth of the tourism and recreation sector in Lagos State. There are opportunities available for private investors and entrepreneurs to develop tourist sites and it is my privilege to inform you that UNESCO has certified ‘Sungbo Eredo’ in the Epe Division as a World Heritage site which can be developed to boost tourism potentials in Lagos State.’’
The Governor also stated that plans to establish a Film City in the State are on course, disclosing that the State Government has secured 100 hectares of land for this purpose with preliminary strategies ongoing.
The state’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, while revealing the state’s effort in promoting synergy with the stakeholders, stated that the Government approved 50% rebate for the practitioners in the payment of their operating licence fees for the year 2020.
She stated that the presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries of the N1 billion seed capital shows that the initiative is not only real but transparent and sincere on the part of the Ministry.
It can be recalled that in July 2020, the Lagos State government announced the approval of a N1 billion seed capital for investment in the tourism and hospitality sector in the state to help drive new growth in that sector.
The Governor said that the investment was needed to support/strengthen the hospitality sector by providing key operators in the tourism business with soft loans to boost their capacity in driving growth.
He said that this seed capital, which will be domiciled in the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), will be made available specifically to Micro, Small and Medium (MSMEs) operators in the sector.
LASG BEGINS DISBURSEMENT OF N1 BILLION TO TOURISM PRACTITIONERS