The Lagos State ministry of Tourism,Arts and Culture has revealed that the Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu has released the sum of One Billion naira to assist the Lagos Practitioners and Entertainment Industries those who COVID 19 crippled their businesses.
The Commissioner for Ministry of Tourism,Arts&Culture,Pharmacist Uzamat Akinbile Yusuf disclosed this
DURING A PRESS CONFERENCE ON THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF LAGOS STATE COVID-19 PANDEMIC REVIEW COMMITTEE REPORT FOR THE TOURISM AND ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY, Held on WEDNESDAY 5TH AUGUST, 2020.
She expressed her joy that it was a great pleasure to address the media that Mr Governor approved the constitution of Lagos State Covid – 19 Pandemic Review Committee to critically assess and review the negative impacts of the pandemic on the tourism and the Creative sector in the State.
As a quick response to the outbreak of the pandemic which necessitated the closure of activities in the Tourism and entertainment sector some of which are still under lockdown as we speak, the State government identified the need to provide succour to the practitioners and this necessitated the constitution of the Committee headed by a Nollywood Actress, Joke Silva.
She informed that Mr Governor is very passionate in creating an enabling environment that will promote sustainable tourism that is widely recognised as a key sector for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), given its major potential to contribute to jobs and wealth creation and has approved the recommendations presented by the Committee.
She stated that the Press Conference is a follow up on Mr. Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s pronouncement on the palliatives for Tourism and Entertainment sector at a programme organised by Ministry of Commerce and Industry. approved for different sectors of the economy.
Being the Ministry that regulates activities in the Tourism, hospitality and the entertainment sector, it becomes imperative to provide further insights into the pronouncements of Mr. Governor especially as it affects stakeholders in the Tourism and entertainment sector.
It is a known fact that the tourism and entertainment industry is one of the major hit sectors by covid-19, the development which had kept the Ministry and indeed the State government on our toes.
Uzamat therefore revealed to Lagosians that Mr. Governor has graciously approved the release of N1 billion as seed capital for investment in tourism to drive the growth of hospitality, tourism and entertainment businesses.
This commitment from the Governor was aimed at providing key operators in tourism business with soft loans to boost their capacity in driving growth and also position tourism business as a new frontier for job creation and economic prosperity in the post-Coronavirus era.
However, it has become important to expatiate on this gesture from Mr Governor and also highlight other palliatives and efforts by the State Government that will guarantee quick recovery of this very important sector.
As already stated by the Governor, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture will work hand in hand with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund, LSETF, to administer the single digit loan to practitioners that meet the criteria that would be set by the Ministry and LSETF.
While efforts are being intensified to grant rebate on other levies to the Tourism sector from other Government MDAs, Mr. Governor has granted the Ministry the approval for 50% rebate for license and renewal fees payable to the Ministry by all hospitality, tourism and entertainment establishment across the State.
She reported through her speech that the Ministry has established a platform to commence working relationship with the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, for access to COVID – 19 Tourism sector fund, a Creative Financial Initiative Fund, to make the fund available to practitioners in the industry in Lagos State.
On our part, the Ministry in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice is considering the establishment of Tourism Endowment Fund aimed at improving the tourism and entertainment sector in Lagos State. She said.
As contained in the submission made to Mr Governor by the Palliative Committee in respect of Capacity building, the Governor has approved training for practitioners in the creative industry through the Lagos Creative Academy to be put in place by the Ministry.
Uzamat reminded practitioners in the hospitality and entertainment industry that the window of opportunity to register their establishments with the Ministry is still open. It should be stressed that these palliatives can only be accessed by registered practitioners as recalcitrant facilities risk being shut down by the government.
However, it must be emphasised that no hospitality establishment will be allow to operate in the State without due registration with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture.
She used the medium also to appreciate the State Governor for increasing the number of social gatherings to maximum of 50 persons, this to our industry, signal a gradual recovery of activities in the entertainment and creative sector.
Meanwhile,the Commissioner pleaded with the practitioners not to abuse this privilege or misconstrue this additional easing of lockdown. As a matter of emphasis, night clubs and beaches remain closed until further directive from the State Incident Commander.
All hands must be on deck to ensure that the curve of. Covid19 is finally flattened and this can only be achieved if we adhere and follow directives from the government and comply with all safety protocols in order to avert a return to another lockdown. She advised .
Together, we can fast track a further easing of the lockdown and the reopening of other establishments that are still under lock if the daily number of covid19 positive cases being recorded subsides.
The Nollywood Actress,Joke Silver expressed her appreciation to the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu for his support to save the practitioners in Entertainment business in Lagos state.
She however presented in appreciation a beautiful portrait to the Tourism Commissioner for her intervention .
Joke Silver made a call to vulnerable Lagosians who are not fully informed that the fund is meant to support the registered practitioners to ensure to catch up with the Ministry of Tourism,Arts and Culture for registration and avoid being neglected because the fund is not going to reach the Bricklayer on the street in lagos. She said.