Lagos State will be half a century old, next year and government has a lot in store to celebrate it, in the meantime – the state plans to use tourism as a method to stimulate growth the economy.
Folorunsho Folarin Coker, Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture gave CNBC Africa a sense of the tourism road map it is planning.
“Tourism requires investment, it’s the alternative economy that we are trying to promote and the drive to bring global dollars to Lagos, to comfortably reside to generate revenue is something that I think is a positive move and I am well behind it,” said Folarin Coker.
The film industry in Lagos is number two in the world now, he said after UNESCO found that it had produced 997 movies in 2013/2014.
Despite being second in the world, Folarin Coker said it doesn’t have a film school or institute of “repute” in Lagos.
And the same is the case for the massive music industry which dominates the African continent
“There is no school of music – so many artists, visual artists and there’s no art school of international repute – now we are looking for global to shake hands with institutions abroad to come and partner with the state government to create this,” said Folarin Coker.
Another avenue for potential job creation and growth is the hospitality industry says Folarin Coker but the problem still lies in formal training.
“Lagos is short of about 8 000 hotel rooms, we don’t have that feedstock and we are looking for investments to not only build the hotels but to bring the technical knowledge of how to run a hotel, how to support a hotel and there you have the job creation and the tax revenue for the state.”
With the state’s 50th coming up, Folarin Coker says there’ll will be a lot of surprises all round, one of them being the national museum refurbishment.
“I think about 6 000 square metres of the national museum car park, is now going to be phase one national museum in collaboration with the federal government,” Folarin Coker said promising a multi-location, cultural event for the state celebration.
Lagos will be 50 next year “I will say confidently that it is going to be probably the most spectacular celebration of the age of a city state.