The Lagos state government in its bid to ensure that the state’s historical and cultural sites and monuments are preserved for future generations and also drive tourism to the state held a stakeholder’s forum for professionals in the sector.
Speaking at the forum which was held at the state’s Council for Art and Culture hall, Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Mr Steve Ayorinde, said the objective of the forum was to ensure that the heritage sites and monuments in Lagos are maintained in their original state as much as possible in order to remain as attraction to visitors and tourists.
Ayorinde who spoke on the theme: “Need For Preservation and Sustenance of Cultural Heritage Sites In Lagos State”, said recent unwholesome developments in the state showed that a few owners of some heritage and monuments sites appear oblivious of the existence of the listed sites laws and its provisions especially as it affects property and site.
He stated that the state will continue to engage in enlightenment programmes that will keep cultural and heritage sites abreast with relevant provisions of the law and the need to preserve them.
He affirmed that the state governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode has been able to revolutionise the tourism sector by surpassing expectations in infrastructural development that have impacted positively on the arts and expanding the frontiers in tourism fortunes for Lagos state.
He said: “You will recall that his excellency Mr Akinwumi Ambode, the governor of Lagos state in his inaugural speech did say “I have the political will to engage investors and stakeholders in creating the enabling environment for tourism, entertainment and arts and iconic infrastructure for the benefit of all.
“We are living witnesses to how the governor has worked the talk and surpass expectations in infrastructural development that have impacted positively on the arts and expanding the frontiers in tourism fortunes for Lagos state. Today, we are gathered here to deliberate among other things on the need for protecting, improving and showcasing the values of some of the heritage assets the state and exchange ideas on how their essence and preservation can be beneficial to all stakeholders.”
Speaking also at the event, Dr. Tunji Adejumo, a lecturer from the University of Lagos, who gave a keynote remark, said the state should not only focus on the economic and social benefits of preserving such sites but also do it for future generations to come.
He stated that the state should embark on local tourism consumption before thinking globally saying that “We must first focus on domestic tourism before we start talking on international tourism.”
by Friday Nwosu