For the second year in a row, the Lagos State economy received a major, unprecedented boost in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors in four weeks of the yuletide season, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde disclosed on Saturday.
Trends and reports monitored by the Lagos State Government over the four weeks in December, especially during Christmas and New Year festivities, captured an estimated spending well above N50bn in cash transactions, a record slightly higher than December 2017 which also recorded a good run in travel, entertainment and leisure-related spendings.
The monitored reports attributed the positive trend to the peak in entertainment activities; huge influx of people from neighboring states, neighboring countries and holiday makers from abroad who either chose Lagos as their primary destination or transit to other parts of Nigeria last December.
In a press statement he signed, Ayorinde said various reports, statistics and analyses monitored across immigration office, banks, aviation, hospitality and leisure parks; food, beverage and distribution businesses as well as event venues, shopping malls and cinema box office earnings captured an estimated direct spendings of over N50bn within the entertainment and tourism sector in Lagos State alone.
He said reports monitoring the prevailing December trends showed an unprecedented footfall influx of more than three million people entering Lagos in December alone with a multi-billion naira spendings in tow in hotel lodgings, local in-bound flights and taxi/chartered transportation, alcohol and beverage consumption; culinary business; visits to resorts, parks, clubs and lounges, live theatre and cinemas; concerts and clubs as well as ancillary businesses like fashion and clothing, kiddies’ games and toys, and private security guards, which are all now part of the tourism and entertainment ecosystem.
“Like in 2017, last December in Lagos was hugely creative economy- friendly, which again affirms the State’s preeminence not just as West Africa’s commercial hub but also its entertainment nerve-centre,” Ayorinde said, adding that the beauty of this assertion is that the surge in the creative enterprise over the yuletide period was felt by all and sundry; was statistically measurable and is now a subject of discussion among analysis.
The Commissioner said there was a slight correlation between the horrific gridlock in some parts of Lagos during the yuletide season and the huge trading by residents and visitors leading to seasonal job provision and economic gains.
According to him, the high volume of economic activity that were directly related to tourism-related visits, entertainment and leisure accounted for a significant chunk of the total value of transactions in the State of 21million residents whose estimated GDP of $136bn in 2018 is regarded as the fifth largest in Africa, after Nigeria, South Africa, Egypt and Algeria.
The statement attributed the State’s continued high performance in the creative economy to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s deliberate interest in and commitment to the development of infrastructure, security and ideas that impact positively on tourism, entertainment and shopping.
He cited the State’s “innovative Calendar of Arts and Culture events which was released in January 2018 specifically to assist both local and foreign visitors in planning their visit to and around Lagos with a detailed guide of festivals and art events available in each month.”
Ayorinde said: “December has always recorded the busiest footfall in Lagos from figure obtained from immigration and aviation authorities. Aside the One Lagos Fiesta which drew over two million visitors cumulatively across its five venues over eight days from December 24 to 31st, other big concerts like those by Davido, Whiz Kid, Burma Boy, Adekunle Gold, Rhythm Unplugged and Sound City Awards also attracted large crowd into Lagos and of course huge spending.
“Hotels were filled to capacity in most parts of the State and we are aware that Lagos and Calabar benefited from additional scheduled flights due to the huge attractions of Calabar Carnival, OLF and the A-list Concerts in Lagos.”
He added that virtually all the entertainment sub-sectors recorded huge spendings in billions over the yuletide period with 15 top foreign and local box office hit films released across the state hitting a record N3bn revenue in December alone; while parks, beaches and other resorts also recorded remarkable, sometimes unprecedented patronage from reports made available to the state government.
The statement added that the December 2018 high creative economy spending in the state corroborates the two key important global tourism industry indicators that were favourable to Lagos in 2018.
First was the British report in Daily Mail of London in April 2018 listing Lagos alongside Nairobi, Kenya as the top non-European destinations among British travelers planning for summer holiday. The second was the MasterCard Global Travel Index released in October 2018 ranking Lagos as the most visited city in sub-Saharan Africa in 2018.
The Commissioner said these remarkable global recognition and last December’s good business outlook in the creative sphere were in tandem with the vision of Governor Ambode to make Lagos the creative hub in Africa and “to assure corporate institutions and investors that the State security and social infrastructure can support the ever growing entertainment and creative landscape in Lagos.
“The night economy has fully returned and every part of the state duly felt the impact of a vibrant tourism, art and entertainment eco-system In December.”
DRUMming THE FUTURE: LEGACY FOR THE FUTURE
BY: Oluwafunso Obasan
The recently held 4th edition of the African Drum Festival with the theme, ‘ DRUMming The Future’ may have come to an end, but the echoes from the festival will continue to linger even for generations yet unborn. The festival unlike the last three editions held at the helipad of the June 12 Cultural Center in Abeokuta, was moved to the new Abeokuta City centre, the venue christened as the festival village Amphitheater, had a capacity to hold up to 10,000 people if it’s entire space was put into use. The amphitheater, according to the executive governor of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, said that the amphitheater would serve as the festival village, adding that the venue would be commissioned by the President.
The festival, unlike the last three editions had an increase in participation and attendance, the attendance this time around was enormous and even looked like the venue won’t be able to seat all present, from the entrance opposite the Central Bank of Nigeria, the venue was a beehive of activities, from a stage that was set up by the Nigerian Breweries, producers of Trophy, the company in its responsibility as a partner in progress and believer in the sustenance of tradition and culture, brought Fuji music star and hip hop music star, Alhaji Wasiu Alabi Pasuma and Abolore Akande, aka, Nice, as part of its contribution towards a successful hosting of the festival.
It is a known fact that Adire is of Ogun State origin, the fact of its originality led the Ogun state government under the leadership of Senator Ibikunle Amosun to register Adire and get the trademark, through the unveiling of the Adire Ogun Seal of Authenticity at the Mitros Residences, at the unveiling, Senator Amosun disclosed that there was no Adire anywhere in the world that would be in the same quality as the one from the source, saying Adire Ogun was from the source.
He further noted that the state was now a cynosure of all eyes, not only because of the legacy projects his administration had put in place, but also because of the cultural reawakening his administration had continually promoted. It is now a fact that Adire Ogun is the best, the production of Adire dates back to the time of the second Iyalode of Egbaland, this was according to the Iyaloja of Kenta market, Alhaja Saidat Akamo, who disclosed that she was born in the house of Jojolola, the second Iyalode of Egbaland. Akamo said that Adire was easy, urging youths to embrace the making of Adire, as Adire making was easy and shouldn’t be killed. Her counterpart at the Asero market, Chief (Mrs.) Kemi Oloyede said that hand craft is good, urging youths to embrace the making of the material, saying they shouldn’t be lazy.
The Federal Government’s stance at promoting made in Nigeria goods has made Ogun state, the only state from the south west to be chosen as the start up point for its start up campaign, these, the Senior Consultant to the Governor on Culture and Tourism, Mrs Yewande Amusan said was done in good faith, as the state was known as being worthy through its Ogun standard way of doing things. The festival reached a milestone, as the Nigerian Postal Service, through the office of the Post Master General and the Ogun State Government, launched a hundred naira stamp to commemorate the African Drum Festival.
The Post Master General, Barrister Adebisi Adegbuyi, disclosed that the effort would afford the festival to reach about 192 countries that are in relationship with the Nigerian Postal Service. In actual fact, the stamps are already in the market, I have been privileged to see them, this gesture would impress the festival into the hearts of thousands of users of stamps from over 192 countries. The gesture to me is one of the Ogun standard way of doing things, the Senator Amosun led government has left a legacy, it is now paramount for everyone to embrace the stamp, it is our own, it deserves our patronage.
Spoiling the child and sparing the rod is a big mistake that shouldn’t be allowed to be the order of the day, that phrase was made by the consultant to the Ogun State Government on the African Drum Festival and Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka at the unveiling of the Kuti house Museum in Abeokuta. WS, has he is been called lately admired his late uncle, Reverend Israel Oludotun Ransome Kuti, who he described as a disciplinarian that never for once spared his rod for his children, or his family. Soyinka noted that the success of most of the children that passed through the late Oludotun Ransome Kuti, who was the first black man to be principal of Abeokuta Grammar School, led to the raising up of godly, noble and successful men and women who are leading in their various endeavours, a gesture he said made him who he is today.
The Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun while corroborating the view of Prof. Wole Soyinka, said he also benefitted from the immense contributions of late Rev. Israel Oludotun Ransome Kuti, describing him as a great man, through whom the likes of late Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti and the late Afrobeat king, Fela Anikulapo Kuti came into the world. The intellectual angle roundtable discussion of the program which was held at Olumo Rock had as its theme, ‘ DRUMming The Future’, the roundtable discussion had both local and International master drummers spread across the length and breadth of the African Continent.
Some of the drummers at the roundtable discussion include Aziz Belheni from Tunisia, Cheickne Sissoko from Mali, Eddy Mboyo from DR Congo, Dennis Ngurwe from Kenya, Frendi Sofiane from Algeria, Machina Aimad from Morroco, Landry Luoba from Cote D’Ivoire, Jeleel Ojuade from Nigeria, Oladipo Abiala from Benin, Othnell Moyo from Zimbabwe, Noumoucounda Cissoko from Senegal, Sserwanga Bernard from Uganda, Sylvanus Kuwor from Ghana, Thandi Swaartbooi from South Africa, Luc Yatchokeu from Cameron, Armel Bokossa from Mali, Gregoire Kabore from Burkina Faso, Vernon Thompson from Trinidad and Tobago, Adepo Yapo from Burkina Faso, Sebaggala Jedidiah from Uganda, Dr. Ben Boateng from Ghana, among others.
This long list of master drummers spread across the length and breadth of Africa has truly shown that the festival has not only come to stay but it now has the respect of the international community. At the roundtable discussion, it was unanimously agreed that government should put into the school curriculum studies about drums, with the assumption that such effort would help to promote the culture of drums and also help to uphold the teaching of drums for generations yet unborn.
At the closing ceremony, Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun urged participants not to forget all they’ve learnt at the festival, saying that their ability to ensure they don’t forget all they have learnt would go a long way to ensure that the culture of drum remains intact and passed unto generations yet unborn.
There was a chorus performance by troupes at the festival, the troupes were all arranged around the rock, with chorus performance, the performance was beautiful to ear, the rhythm and tonality from the arrangement was great. At the end of the festival, five categories of winners was announced, at the State category, last year’s winner, Kwara State was edged to second position by Gombe State, while Ondo State came third with 2 million, 1 million and 500,000 Naira was won by the states.
The Individual International category saw Morroco coming first with 3,000 dollars, Chad second with 2,000 dollars and South Africa with 1,000 dollars, the African category saw Ghana coming first with 5,000 dollars, Chad coming second with 3,000 dollars and Benin coming third with 2,000 dollars. The independent category saw the Ekemini troupe come first with 2 million, Yaato troupe coming second with 1 million and Foye troupe coming third with five hundred thousand naira. There was also a special award, with a thousand dollar each for ten foreign countries and award for ten other troupes.
Some of the countries include Cote d’ Ivore, Algeria, Togo, Mali, Haiti, Morroco, Cameron, Senegal, DR Congo and Tunisia, the ten troupes that also received special awards include, Ogun State Cultural troupe, Musiliu Haruna Ishola, Eni Afede, Pa Adewole Oniluola, Ijo Dee foundation, Ara(Thunder), Ayanyinka Olowogangan, Unique Finger, Adisa Ogundele and Abideen Olatunji.
The fourth edition of the African Drum Festival is a testament that the festival has revolved round its original edition and that the increased participation from African Countries has shown that the festival has become an household name.
Time will only tell what the festival would bring to the state in the future.
Oluwafunso, Press Officer, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Ogun State Government.
Ooni of Ife’s, House of Oduduwa Foundation, A Legacy of Service to Humanity
Written by the Chief Operating Officer,Adewumi Adediran.
The Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty Ooni Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi (Ojaja II) is a man with a burning desire to see lives transformed; a man who believes in the productivity of the youth as a recipe to chase away poverty from the system.
In many ways than would probably be acknowleged, His Imperial Majesty, the Ooni of Ife, has been in the business of empowerment across the ages, with a vision to continuously touch the lives of people,while leaving a legacy of service to humanity.
In 2016, the Ooni established The House of Oduduwa Foundation, informed by the urgent need to reduce the level of poverty and also project the Yoruba Culture and Heritage.
A Non-Governmental Organisation, the main objective of the House of Oduduwa Foundation is to expand possibilities for children, women and young people in order that they live healthy and productive lives.
According to a United Nations report, the increasing rise in unemployment and income inequality has adversely affected the economy of Nigeria .
To checkmate this anomaly, it becomes top priority for Nigerian government to provide the right educational infrastructure to develop skills and requisite opportunities that would bring about unemployment and birth entrepreneurs and productive members of society, thereby reducing the level of poverty in the land.
Understanding education as a powerful weapon which can be used to change the World; a passport to the future which unlocks the golden door of freedom, and also knowing this to be a herculean task on the shoulders of the government still grappling with several issues, the Ooni of Ife launched the “NEXT GENERATION” project under the Foundation which aims to alleviate the financial burden of pupils and students whose parents face significant financial hurdles and uncertainty as they work hard to achieve their future dreams.
This Project is more or less a grant, to be awarded on the basis of academic excellence to support Students across the South-West geographical States.
Six States, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos and Ondo are being regard as descendants of Oduduwa with a population estimated at 32.5 million people.
The Oduduwa Descendants also constitute a sizable proportion of the population in Kwara, Kogi and Edo States.
The House of Oduduwa Foundation appeals to Corporate bodies, IInstitutions,Philanthropists and all men of goodwill in Nigeria and Diaspora to partner with the House of Oduduwa Foundation to realise its dream for humanity.
Written by the Chief Operating Officer,Adewumi Adediran.
LAGOS RELEASES CALENDAR OF ARTS AND CULTURE PROGRAMMES
The Lagos State Government has released a calendar of over 70 state-sponsored and endorsed arts and culture programmes slated for Y2018 in its bid to garner visibility for tourism-oriented art programmes.
The State’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde in a statement on Thursday, described the calendar as a novel exercise designed to frontload State and privately driven arts, culture and entertainment events that will have positive effects on tourism promotion.
“This is in fulfilment of the State Government promise to announce a yearly calendar of events to guide programming, tourist and visitors’ decision,” he said.
According to Ayorinde, the State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, kick-started the year with his attendance at Ali Baba’s January 1st Comedy concert at Eko Hotel. Other arts and culture events held in January and February 2018 and included in the calendar are Angel and Muse, an art exhibition by a Lagos trained world renowned artist; Eebi; a month-long Indigenous Cultural Festival in Epe; Wazobia FM Carnival as well as the Lagos Marathon amongst others.
The idea of creating a calendar of events for state-sponsored and state-endorsed programmes, he said, is to make event planning, tour bookings and business decisions easier for tour operators and the general public.
He added that the calendar is part of the State’s innovation to project arts, entertainment and leisure benefits inherent in Lagos and makes the state attractive to domestic tourists; business travellers and stop-over passers-by.
The Commissioner said, “The State is forging ahead of expanding the consumption of its tourism products by improving access to tourism information and creating an events guide for the media and tour bloggers”.
Although not exhaustive, the calendar contains many of the indigenous cultural festivals across the state, entertainment events; concerts; visual; performing and fashion and culinary events.
The State is expected to leverage on infrastructural development, regeneration of old and creation of iconic attractions for entertainment, arts and culture enthusiasts to boost economic activities and expand opportunities for job creation during the various events slated on the calendar.
“The administration of Governor Ambode believes that the quantum of cash transactions across the tourism and entertainment value-chain, as tracked in December 2017 when about N50billion was spent on entertainment and leisure alone, is a testimony to the huge economic gain in promoting tourism in Lagos State. This and other economic factors make Lagos one of the most vibrant culturally significant cities in Africa with potentials to make enormous impact in driving in-bound tourists from across the globe,” Ayorinde said.
Major events listed in the calendar include Gidi Fest, Lagos Water Regatta and Fanti Carnival around the Easter Period; the International Jazz Day celebration on April 30 which will be dedicated to the South-African Jazz legend, Huge Masekela; the Lagos Comedy Festival on May 6 and the Eko Art Expo at the last weekend in May.
June will be rich with the first ever Lagos Golf Funfair and the Lagos Cinefest, which is designed to take cinema-going experience to all the five divisions of the State.
The Lagos Festival of Plays is a major highlight in the third quarter of the year; so is the Lagos Fishing Festival (Oshoroko) in Ibeju-Lekki; Akwaaba Travel Market and Faaji Agba – a special concert for the elderly to mark World Elders Day.
October to December will be the most intense period on the calendar with Olokun Festival; MUSON Festival; AFRIMA, AFRIFF; Kayo-Kayo Festival in Epe; the Lagos Luxury Summit/Fair; Felabration; Lagos Books & Arts Festival (LABAF) as well as the One Lagos Fiesta.
“The State is grateful to corporate sponsors who will make many of these events happen. Our aim is to use the calendar and other strategic initiatives to enrich the entertainment and cultural content to drive tourism promotion in this mega city,” Ayorinde said.
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