Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has sought the cooperation of some government agencies to help ease institutional challenges and bureaucratic bottlenecks often faced by tourism and entertainment practitioners when seeking services from government establishments. The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, who made the request on Tuesday during an Inter-Ministerial engagement with some government agencies, said that no efforts should be spared to further encourage practitioners whose activities are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
She expressed the willingness of the Ministry to, henceforth, serve as a liaison between the practitioners and all government agencies to fast-track services needed from government establishments. Akinbile-Yusuf averred that although the COVID-19 pandemic is still ravaging the entire universe including Lagos State, there is a need to plan ahead by ensuring adequate preparation in order to guarantee the smooth take-off of activities within the sector when the entertainment and tourism industry becomes fully operational. While addressing the participants, who were Chief Executive Officers, General Managers and Directors-General of the various State Government establishments, the Commissioner maintained that all the agencies were specifically invited based on the fact that their establishing mandates contribute to the promotion of tourism-related activities in the State.
She said, "Let me state categorically that these services are not going to be entirely free for the practitioners but as the coordinating Ministry for all tourism and entertainment activities in the State, we will collaborate with these government agencies for the provision of institutional support to our stakeholders and work on possible rebates in accessing some of the services rendered by these agencies”. "For instance, in accessing the services of officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA; Lagos State Ambulance Services, LASAMBUS and Lagos State Safety Commission, LSSC, just to mention a few, the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture will help facilitate these services in a very seamless manner", the Commissioner added. Akinbile-Yusuf averred that the possibility of Lagosians traveling abroad for relaxation and holiday may not be feasible for now, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, as such, this confers the responsibility on the Ministry and other relevant stakeholders to develop the State's tourism potentials and make it more attractive to local tourists without any barrier.
The heads of government agencies present at the Inter-Ministerial engagements promised to work with the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture to ensure the central coordination of all activities of practitioners in the Tourism and Entertainment industry. Some of the agencies represented at the event are: Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, Lagos State Safety Commission, Lagos State Ferry Services, Lagos State Waterways Authority, Lagos State Records and Archives Bureau, Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency, Lagos State Ambulance Service and Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency, among others.