Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has unveiled an initiative that would further unravel tourism potentials in different piloting Local Government Areas across the State tagged: ‘Community-Based Tourism’ (CBT).
This was disclosed recently by the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, at a sensitisation programme for staff, Cultural Officers from the State Council for Arts and Culture as well as the Film and Video Censors Board, noting that six communities have been identified in the first phase of the implementation of the initiative.
Akinbile-Yussuf listed the pilot LGAs as Badagry, Epe, Ikorodu, Oshodi /Isolo, Eti Osa and Surulere, adding that the establishment of the Community-Based Tourism Unit under the Research and Development Department of the Ministry, was in line with the State’s Tourism Masterplan and Policy.
According to her, the Ministry has been directing its programmes and policies in line with the Master Plan and Policy, being the approved guiding documents for the activities of the Ministry in the next couple of years.
She therefore assured officials, who would be implementing the Masterplan at the community level under the Community-Based Tourism, of adequate support in terms of all necessary logistics, to enhance the delivery of their assigned responsibilities.
Akinbile-Yussuf stated that the decision to commence the CBT at this period was to enable exploration, access and development of Tourism potentials such as Unique Cultural Practices, Tradition and Heritage within the Local Community.
“We want to initiate an agenda for the development and growth of domestic tourism, promote and market tourism internationally as contained in the Ministry’s Masterplan and Policy”. She Noted.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Solomon Bonu, said that the Ministry will provide necessary work tools and incentives that would aid the effective discharge of duties by officers in the various communities.
Bonu further encouraged the staffers to discharge their duties diligently and effectively so that the initiative can be transferred to more local government areas and also encourage the State government to invest more in CBT.
In the same vein, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Princess Adenike Adedoyin-Ajayi, noted that the Ministry expects the officers manning the CBT to come up with innovative ideas that will promote the development of domestic tourism in a bid to enhance local tourism.
According to her, the Ministry’s officials at the community level are to coordinate, liaise, raise public awareness and undertake activities that will encourage cultural heritage resuscitation and preservation, while also promoting tourism marketing via promotional campaigns, sponsorship and facilitating cultural and traditional events.
She therefore encouraged staff to identify and coordinate the activities of people who are into indigenous technology such as carving, sculpting, weaving and craft, painting, local textile among others.
Also speaking at the event, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Tunji Seymour, commended the initiative, describing it as complementary to the efforts made by his Office and the Research and Development Department of the Ministry earlier in the year, when he led some government officials on a visit to assess the state of some tourism assets in different parts of Lagos.
Seymour added that the establishment of the CBT Unit would further help fast track the restoration of some cultural values that are gradually going into extinction in different communities in Lagos State.
The new CBT Unit of the Ministry would be under the supervision of the Director of Research and Development of the Ministry, Mrs. Yetunde Simpson.