Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has charged Lagosians to take advantage of opportunities available in many other sectors of the nation’s economy not currently utilized, saying the era of waiting for white collar jobs were over in the state.
Ambode who spoke at Lagos House in Ikeja when he hosted artists who performed at the One Lagos Fiesta (OLF) revealed the plans of his administration to use entertainment, tourism and arts among others to grow the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and transform the state to emerge as the true hub of entertainment in Africa.
In his words, “this is a historic day in the annals of the entertainment industry in Nigeria. This has never happened before where you have a conglomeration of the big names in the entertainment industry including artists, producers, comedians and all that what I tried to do with the One Lagos Fiesta is to create some form of awareness that we are not yet where we ought to be. Project T.H.E.S.E which means Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Sports for excellence.”
“The only sets of people that can actually run the future of a global economy are those who are creative and innovative. So, the project THESE was all about using tourism, hospitality, Entertainment and arts and then sports to promote excellence and grow the GDP of Lagos,” he added.
He also stressed that “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.”
While commenting on the recently held One Lagos Fiesta, Ambode said the event was used to test run how to bring people together, saying apart from its positive impacts in the entertainment sector, it also aided the reduction of crime rate drastically.
The statistics indicated that the last December was the lowest ever in terms of crime because everybody moved towards all that the entertainers were doing and by that, you secured the city.
“The fact that the OLF took place in five locations across the state for eight days without any crime also reflected on the international scale that the city is safe. So, obviously because you have a huge followership,” he said.
On the plans to use arts and entertainment to improve the GDP of the state, Ambode said “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.
“So, there is a concentric cycle around the energy of entertainers and so what I want is a structured framework. What is it that we should do as government to grow the industry? Why should we go and be doing video shoot in South Africa for instance? I want a win-win partnership not just to use artists and dump them till another December,” Ambode stated.