Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Monday said the tourism sector contributed N800bn to the State’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2017.
Speaking at the Lagos Tourism Summit, held at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island, Ambode said the tourism sector contributed about $2.2 billion (N800 billion) to the Lagos GDP in 2017 and with the infrastructure and resources we are deploying in this sector, we expect this figure to double or treble in the next 5 years.
“The enormous resources we have deployed in physical and social infrastructure across the State will begin to crystallize by December into mega structures that will support tourism and market our state as a smart destination,” the governor said.
He said his administration was consciously investing huge resources to develop an enduring infrastructural architecture that would ensure that the State’s tourism potentials were fully harnessed for all round economic growth and development.
Ambode stated that the plans, concepts and executions of his administration were deliberate and well thought-out to make the highly populated mega city-state culturally attractive and artistically functional.
“As a government, we are conscious of the fact that infrastructure, security, stability and partnership with all stakeholders are fundamental ingredients for tourism development. We have channeled a lot of resources into creating an enduring infrastructural architecture for the business of tourism to thrive,” he said.
He said his administration was not unmindful of the fact that for the State to match up with other leading world tourism destinations like Miami; Sao Paulo; Dubai, Singapore and Tokyo as well as African cities such as Cape Town, Cairo, Marrakech and Accra, the right infrastructure had to be put in place.
“In order to do this successfully, we must first build a solid infrastructural architecture that will endure. It must be safe and secure; it must provide functional and diverse venues for the arts, culture, festivals, creative industry, recreation and wildlife; and it must constantly and productively engage with its critical stakeholders.
“So when you see us reclaim 50 hectares of land at the Oworonshoki end of our lagoon; when you see us clear a whole stretch at the Badagry and Epe Marina; when we insist that our prime waterfront must not be taken over by shanties and slums; when you see us embark on some ambitious road, fly-over and modern bus terminal constructions; we are preparing the grounds for a major source of employment and prosperity.
“When you see us continue to plead for the control of wasting federal assets like the National Arts Theatre, National Museum and National Stadium and possibly declare our intention to have the Muritala Mohammed International Airport concessioned to us; we are focused on our tourism sector.
“When you see our unwavering commitment in changing the face of public transportation, committing more funds to providing jetties and expanding access to waterways, please know that we are driven only by the need to build and sustain the needed infrastructure upon which an enduring tourism landscape can stand and outlive our administration and those coming after us,” the governor said.