By Florence Onuegbu
Lagos, March 3, 2021 The Lagos State Government says it has disbursed N1 billion to practitioners in the tourism, hospitality and entertainment sector to assist them over the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, made this known on Wednesday, during the inauguration of Glover Memorial Hall at Lagos Island.
Sanwo-Olu said that the fund was a financial stimulus to get the sector moving again and to overcome the challenges caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
He said that the government had initiated several deliberate efforts and interventions to ensure that the creative practitioners were able to find their feet in the post COVID-19 era.
The governor said that he recently approved the training of 1,480 aspiring creative practitioners who were desirous of gaining world-class skills and career advancement.
He said that about 1,500 creative practitioners had been scheduled for both physical and online training under a public-private partnership initiative geared toward empowering the people for inclusive growth, economic liberation, and the overall improvement of their lives.
According to him, government is mindful that the sector is an integral part of socio-economic development, and the overall wellbeing of citizens, which is why the sector will not be neglected in the drive to make Lagos a megacity.
”We are committed to innovatively seeking ways of providing the enabling environment for the tourism and entertainment sector to thrive.
”It is in line with this that we are providing the needed support for the entertainment and tourism sector to recover from the pandemic even as this government provides the institutional framework for creative practitioners to excel and prosper.
”Today’s event signals a gradual return of activities within the tourism and entertainment sector.
”It is a boost for our creative practitioners and entertainers as well as the necessary catalyst for economic growth because if we properly harness our human and capital resources, tourism and entertainment will become major contributors to socio-economic growth and development,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the completion and inauguration of the remodeled Glover Memorial Hall reflected the determination to rebuild Lagos, revamp the historic/public assets and develop the entertainment, creative, and tourism sector.
In her welcome address, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, said that the foundation stone of the first Glover Hall was laid in 1887 on a piece of land.
Akinbile-Yussuf said that the land was donated by the legendary trader and activist Madam Efunroye Tinubu, as a memorial to the works of Sir John Hawley Glover, who was the Governor of the Colony of Lagos from 1864 to1872.
She said that Sir Glover, having been instrumental to many developments especially within Lagos metropolis, was honoured with the establishment of the Glover Memorial Hall for various social and entertainment events.
According to her, as a way of demonstrating his love for the entertainment industry, Gov. Sanwo-Olu ensured the completion of the memorial hall.
”He also approved the inclusion of some modern-day innovations that would make this edifice to be of international standard,” she said