The Lagos State Government says no fewer than 3,000 youths in the state have been empowered in various creative skills in the last three years.

Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, the state Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, disclosed this in a statement on Friday.

Akinbile-Yusuf, giving account of her performance in office in the last 3 years, said that in 2020 the ministry conceived the initiative to sharpen the skills of talents in the creative industry to be able to compete effectively with their contemporaries internationally.

She said to actualise this, the ministry collaborated with acclaimed international academies like Delyork and EbonyLife Creative Academy to upskill the creative abilities of the youth.

She noted that with this, the ministry had been able to train over 3,000 youths in the creative space, in filmmaking, tour guiding and other aspects of the creative industry.

“As we speak, we have been able to train over 3, 000 in the creative industry and we already see the results of the investments of the state government in the sector. We hope the results of our initiative will grow and surpass our expectations in the future,” she said.

“In another few months, the first four years of this administration would have been reached, as such, this is a good time to remind us of the laudable achievements of the ministry in the past few years.

“This ministry does not operate in isolation as tourism can not thrive without transportation and security.

“We have been working diligently with relevant MDAs in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda but our special focus is on the last ‘E’ pillar which stands for Entertainment and Tourism,” she said.

The commissioner noted that presently, the ministry had deepened the initiative to train talented youths in acting, script writing, editing, music, video art and animation.

She said the state government had brought on board more professionals like the Africa Film Academy and the Temple Company.

Akinbile-Yussuf said that some of the major achievements of the ministry in the period under review included the preparation of a 10-year tourism master plan.

According to her, N1 billion was released as palliative for members of the tourism, entertainment and creative sector to cushion the effect of COVID-19 on their businesses.

She said there was a 50 per cent rebate on registration and renewal fees for hospitality and tourism establishments in the year 2020 by Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

She noted that a N200 million interest-free loan was granted to the first batch of 50 film makers

The commissioner said that the ministry had also launched various programmes like the ‘EKO ON SHOW’ and received several awards and recognitions for its efforts in promoting tourism and entertainment sector in the state.

She said in the area of infrastructure, the Glover Memorial Hall was remodeled and was put into use through concession to professionals that could make optimum use of the hall.

According to her, the JK Randle Centre for Yoruba History and Culture will also be inaugurated soon in addition to the recently remodeled Badagry Slave Market Museum.

She said that the groundbreaking event for the Lagos Cultural Village project established in Alimosho Local Government Area was done recently.

Akinbile-Yussuf also disclosed that 100 hectares of land had been acquired at Ikosi-Ejinrin LCDA for the Lagos Film City project.

“The governor and I were recently in Washington DC to meet with the investors that will ensure the immediate and prompt development of the Lagos Film City project.

“We are determined and committed to ensuring that we give the best to Lagos State and improve its tourism potential while enhancing its socio-economic growth,” she said.

The commissioner allayed the fears of stakeholders that some of the lofty programmes that she started might be jettisoned in the next dispensation.

She said that Lagos had a legacy of continuity and that the tourism master plan was already in place to guide the operations of the ministry,” she said. (NAN)

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Source: news