Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has disclosed plans of his administration to leverage on the vast economic opportunities in entertainment, tourism and arts sectors to grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the state.
In a press release signed by the Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Lagos State Governor, Habib Aruna, Ambode noted that such effort would not only boost the GDP of the state but would as well promote talents in the state to compete globally among their peers.
Speaking at Lagos House, Ikeja, when he received artistes participated in the One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) during the yuletide period Ambode said the creative industry remained a veritable platform to grow the economy.
The governor told the artists who were on a-thank-you visit that the state government would tap into it and use it to positively engage the bulging youths in the state.
The OLF, an annual end of the year revue put together by the State Government, was held simultaneously in five different locations across the state from December 24, 2016 to January 1, 2017.
Ambode thanked the artistes for their partnership with the State Government, added that the OLF was a platform put together by his administration to majorly create awareness about the potentials inherent in the entertainment industry.
He said, according to statistics, Lagos recorded the lowest crime rate during the period, saying the artists contributed significantly in keeping the city secured and scale up its international rating as a safe place.
“We have a bulging youth population dynamics in Lagos. 66 per cent of our population are below the age of 35 and if two third are of below 35, it means there is an economy in that age bracket that government is not seeing. The OLF was used to test run how to bring people together.
“The issue now is beyond OLF, how do we now take that opportunity to become a catalyst for this partnership? On my part, I want to reiterate my commitment. This is an area I love which is underutilised for the societal development of the country.
“Government is now willing to use your industry to grow its GDP because so far entertainers are working, we would have more visitors coming to Lagos. They will stay in our hotels. They will buy clothes. They will go out in the night and buy our drinks and the ultimate thing is that more taxes come in for the state.”
Ambode further tasked the artistes to come up with a structured framework to grow the economy, while government would provide infrastructures and initiatives to help the sector.
“The challenge for our artistes now is to come up with a framework of how government can intervene. We are willing to support and we are willing to draw up a programme to support you. But how do you want to fuse into that to make Lagos the entertainment hub in Africa?”
A-list artists like Queen Salawa Abeni, Adewale Ayuba, Tiwa Savage, Adekunle Gold, Sir Shina Peters, Sound Sultan, among others lauded Ambode’s OLF initiative and his commitment to grow the industry.
Others included Folarin Falana (Falz), M.I Abaga, Patoranking, Obesere, Tony Tetuila, Dr Sid, Idris Abdulkareem, Aramide, CDQ, Sulaimon ‘Atawewe’ Adio, Reekado Banks, Humblesmith and Dammy Krane.