The Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode flanked by influential entertainers and government functionaries attended the highly anticipated performance of a stage play – Oba Esugbayi, held at the Muson Centre in Onikan, Lagos, over the weekend.
Speaking at the event, Ambode reiterated the commitment of his administration to continue to play up the arts and entertainment industry to grow the economy and positively engage the youth, saying the sector remains a veritable platform to improve the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State and Nigeria.
The Governor said since inception of his administration, conscious efforts had been made to invest in the arts and entertainment sector in view of its strategic importance to the country if the potentials were properly harnessed.
While describing the sector as the future of the State, the Governor said the investment so far made was geared towards using the industry as a springboard to plan for the burgeoning youth population in the State.
According to him; “Obviously, I am a lover of arts and as a government; we have invested so much in culture, entertainment and so on. The real GDP of Lagos is in entertainment and arts because that is where the future is.
“The population dynamics of Lagos is like 65 percent below the age of 35 and you have to start to find somewhere to actually fill in that gap to grow the GDP of Lagos and that is why we have decided that we would promote a lot of things in arts, culture and entertainment and that is just the right way to go.”
The Governor, who also commended the creativity and versatility of the cast and production crew of the stage play in coming up with a wonderful show, assured that he would continue to support the sector whether in government or out of government.
“I just want to say that I have enjoyed myself thoroughly and this is one of the Christmas gifts to me. Sitting down here and watching for one and half hours, you know that there is a big future for this country and for everybody that has actually taken part in this stage play, I say God bless you.
“When I see younger people and the sense of creativity around them and the energy, it brings that sense of hope in this country and whatever support I can give in and out of government, I will do it without hesitation,” he said.
Other attendees at the event include State Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade; popular media personality, Olisa Adibua; Chairman, Lagos Inland Revenue Service (LIRS), Mr. Ayodele Subair; General manager, Consumer Marketing, MTN, Mr. Wole Rawa and Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Ms. Nonny Ugboma among several others.