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Africa: Lagos deepens investment to grow tourism economy

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The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has restated his commitment to enhancing the economic fortunes of the State by deepening tourism infrastructure development and providing world-class tourism assets across the State.

Ambode, speaking at the 2018 Akwaaba Africa Travel Market holding at the Eko Hotel and Suites on Tuesday during the ‘Lagos Day’ showcase, stated that this is the first time that the State will support the hosting of the African Travel Market on a prominent scale since its inception in 2004.

The Governor, represented by the Commissioner for Tourism Arts and Culture – Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said “Our decision to collaborate with the organisers of this event was borne out of the present administration’s genuine commitment to engage the private sector in the growth and development of the tourism sector of the State and give access to interested organisations to the untapped tourism potentials of the State”.

He reminded the audience that “at the inception of this administration, we did not mince words regarding our commitment to drive development through tourism and invest in sectors that will grow our economy’s capacity as a result of our mission to build greater Lagos State”.

On the strategic development of infrastructure and the provision of tourism attractions across the State, the Governor justified the administration’s effort saying “we are conscious of the fact that provision of infrastructure and security of the polity for our stakeholders are fundamental ingredients for tourism development”.

He further stated that “Over the last three years the State government has invested heavily in key infrastructure projects like a new network of roads, provision of monuments, improvement of our beaches, the building of the five standard theatres, museums etc”.

He observed that one of the ongoing key projects which the State government deliberately decided to undertake, given its strategic importance to tourism promotion, is the Airport Road planned to be a world class road infrastructure that will be a delight to visitors to Lagos State and Nigeria.

Governor Ambode promised that the Lagos State Government will continue to encourage and promote private sector investment towards tourism promotion, saying that “We recognise Lagos as a destination of choice that is blessed with natural and rich cultural heritage. For this reason, we will continue to deepen partnerships with all stakeholders in the State’s tourism space to ensure our competitiveness as a vibrant tourism destination”.

The Akwaaba Travel Market organised by Mr. Ikechi Uko is a major marketing platform where airlines, travel agents, hotels, tourism boards, foreign and local media and the general travelling public in Africa meet to rub minds and share views on development.

Also present at the event were Mr. Fola Adeyemi, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture; Otunba Segun Runsewe, Director-General National Council for Arts and Culture, notable movie artistes from Ghana and Nigeria including Mr. Van Vicker, Joke Silver, Kunle Afolayan and host of others.

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