Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode while welcoming French President, Emmanuel Macron to the State has expressed optimism that the historic visit will go a long way to break any barriers between Nigeria and France as well as foster greater collaboration for economic, social and cultural growth.
Ambode who expressed his delight to host Macron, a well respected global leader, said the visit would also signal a new era between both countries, especially for Lagos where talents in the arts and creative industry abound.
“On behalf of the government and good people of Lagos State, I welcome His Excellency, President Emmanuel Macron, President of France, to the commercial and cultural capital of Nigeria and indeed West Africa.
“We are delighted and honoured to be hosting a President of one of the world’s Super Powers; a permanent member of the United Nation’s Security Council with veto rights, a prominent member of the G8 and the World Trade Organisation and a champion of Global Climate Change,” he said.
He added that Governor said he was particularly delighted that Macron’s visit to Lagos began on a cultural and entertainment note, adding that the French Cultural Centre and Alliance Française based in the State had always been an asset to its cultural landscape in the same way that Trace Television had also become an invaluable addition to its music and entertainment sphere.
“With the exceptional characteristics of our State as the most populous, vibrant and indeed the fifth richest economy on the African continent, Lagos is the undeniable destination for business and pleasure in Africa. The new Lagos experience is being enhanced daily as we continue to create an enduring infrastructural and security architecture for the business of tourism and cultural arts to thrive. This also creates a platform for our local talents to feel a sense of belonging and encouragement.
“Mr. President, this momentous State Visit shall signal the dawn of a new era between France and Nigeria especially for the myriad of talents that have made Lagos their home,” the Governor said.
At the event put together at the African Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos Mainland to host Macron, an Art Exhibition, Fashion Show, display of Nollywood scenes, and presentation of a painting of Fela to Macron held with top Nigerian entertainers in attendance.
Also, Governor Ambode presented a pencil frame artwork of Macron done by 11-year old Kareem Olamilekan drawn within two hours.
The highpoints of the night include sterling performances by dance group, Footprints of David, music artistes, Yemi Alade, Charlotte Dipanda from Kenya and a scintillating performance by Femi Kuti to bring the event to a close.