Lagos State Government is developing 100 hectares in Ejirin community in Epe division for the establishment of a Film City proposed by the administration of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to boost the Creative and Entertainment industry.
Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, who disclosed the development, said the Film City was being initiated to offer a one-stop business platform for filmmakers, entertainers and originators of creative ideas to carry out their trades without interference by agencies of Government and the public.
The project, she said, is being developed through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and will serve as a catalyst to accelerate the development of tourism in Lagos. Akinbile-Yussuf spoke of the development at the ongoing inter-ministerial press briefing held at Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, to mark the second-year anniversary of the Sanwo-Olu administration.
The Commissioner said the State Government remained determined to transform the Entertainment and Tourism sector by harnessing opportunities and potential in the sector to assist practitioners actualise their dreams.
Besides, Akinbile-Yussuf disclosed that the Government had set aside N1 billion intervention fund to support ideas, innovations and entertainment programmes in the Creative Industry, through Lagos State Creative Industry Initiative (LACI).
She said a process is underway to review the application conditions for access, urging film-makers, movie producers, content creators as well as others in the sector to take advantage of the facility to explore opportunities.
Her words: “We have acquired 100 hectares of land in Ejirin area of the State for development of the proposed Film City. There are ongoing preliminary discussions with the private sector under PPP arrangement and we believe that the initiative would be a boost to the Movie and Entertainment industry’s revenue.
“The idea behind the Film City is to provide a place where film production and creative ideas can be carried out without public interferences. When it is finally established, Lagos Film City would be a huge impetus for the development of the Entertainment industry, because it will reduce the cost of film production, generate employment and bring about a huge relief to the practitioners. We urge stakeholders and private investors to come on board and support this idea.”
Akinbile-Yussuf said new tourist sites were recently discovered in Badagry, Epe and Alimosho areas, hinting that the State Government would take over the management of new heritage sites in Ikorodu. She assured that the new sites would be developed and harnessed to become international tourism centres.
The Commissioner explained that the State had developed a Tourism Master Plan, which would serve as a policy document for the implementation of tourist activities in Lagos.
“The document would change the narrative in the State’s tourism sector and ensure uniformity of Government’s programmes, plans and policies in the development of tourism,” Akinbile-Yussuf said.
She explained that attention would be given to the development of Lagos waterfront for tourism purposes, adding that the master plan would also explore the potential of medical tourism, focusing Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition (MICE).
The Commissioner said: “With the Tourism Master Plan in place, the era of haphazard development of tourism activities in the State is over. There is a structured guideline for short, medium and long-term tourism activities and projects. Some areas in tourism, which were not given attention, have now been captured in the master plan. This will engender all-round development of every aspect of tourism in the coming years”.
“We will leverage on this to boost the State’s revenue. We believe in creating an enduring atmosphere for tourism activities to thrive, being a major private-sector driven sector. It is our belief that when businesses operate under the right atmosphere, the economic activities of the State would increase and the resources at the disposal of Government would also be impacted greatly.”
Speaking on the activities of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture in the last two years, Akinbile-Yussuf said the Sanwo-Olu administration had repositioned the State’s heritage with the delivery of cultural projects, including the modernisation of Glover Memorial Hall, known for hosting stage drama, cultural concerts and other traditional events.
She said renovation work on major cultural sites across the State were inching towards completion, noting the State Government would be delivering J. K Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and History in the coming weeks to change the aesthetics of the cultural hub of Lagos Island