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LASG trains 3,748 youths in creative skills

Toke Benson

The Lagos State Government says it empowered no fewer than 3,748 youths in the last one year of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s second tenure administration.

Mrs Toke Benson-Awoyinka, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, stared this during a ministerial news conference unveiling Sanwo-Olu’s achievements within the period under review.

Benson-Awoyinka said the youths were trained in various areas of filmmaking.

She noted that Gov. Sanwo-Olu had approved further training of over 5,000 youths to run in the next three years.

“The Lagos State Government is currently in a partnership with four different creative academies to enhance the capacities of young creative practitioners in Lagos State.

“As at today, 3,748 Lagos youths have benefitted from the training.

“The academies in partnership with the state government for this training programme are: Dell-York Film Academy, GiDi Creative Academy, Ebony Life Creative Academy and African Film Academy.

“This gesture by the government is informed by the need to bridge identified skill-gap in the creative sector, and to position residents of the state who are in the creative field to compete globally with their contemporaries when it comes to film production.

“The testimonials of the beneficiaries are very encouraging and the training, which ordinarily would have cost the beneficiaries several millions of naira, is at no cost to the participants,” she said.

The Commissioner pointed out that the ministry was currently working on beach regulation law to enable the ministry regulate and build a compendium of beach operators in the state.

She said this was particularly to build resilience around safety of visitors and providing the necessary infrastructure around it.

“The ministry is recovering tourism land, assets like the Topo Island in Badagry, Ilashe Beach Resort, Eko Tourist Beach Akodo and more,” she said.

Benson-Awoyinka hinted that the ministry, under Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s leadership, had encouraged international tourism promotion as she and her team attended the 2023 World Travel Market held at Excel, London.

She said within the last one year, the ministry also engaged, partnered and positively impacted the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA).

“In the last one year, the ministry collaborated, endorsed, sponsored and supported several tourism-related, arts, culture and entertainment events.

“Some of these events include Eebi Festival 2024; Ikorodu Oga; Felabration, an annual celebration on the life and music of the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti; Nigerian Travel Week and The King Must Dance Naked…. A Grand Stage performance in collaboration with Lufodo Production.

Others are Kurunmi, the stage play by Unilag Students Culturati; Lagos Street Food Festival; KAYOKAYO, Lagos Cocktail Week; Badagry heritage festival; Badagry Descendants Arts and Culture Festival; Door of Return and more.

She said the Lagos theatres in Epe, Badagry and Igando were currently functioning and had been playing host to different activities.

According to her, the burnt Lagos Theatre in Oregun had been awarded for reconstruction.

“The ministry is currently negotiating the inclusion of cinema facilities in all our theatres and also negotiating lands for the construction of a befitting facility in the Ikorodu division of the state.

“Freedom Park and surrounding was cleaned up so as to ensure a clean and breathe-able environment for tourism to thrive.

“Also, Glover Memorial Hall Lagos, refurbished and restored by Gov. Sanwo-Olu is equally living up to its expectation in playing host to different cultural and tourism events. The Hall is being managed by a private firm.

“I am filled with gratitude for the unwavering commitment and and passion displayed by our team, partners and stakeholders in advancing the course of tourism, arts and culture.

“Let us carry forward the spirit of collaboration, innovation and inclusivity as we continue to transform challenges into opportunities and dreams into realities.

“Together, we build a legacy of cultural excellence that enriches lives, inspires generation and leaves an indelible mark on the world,” she said.