Senator representing Kogi West Senatorial District, Mr. Dino Melaye on Monday lauded the various initiatives of Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode towards the promotion of tourism and entertainment, saying that the Governor has demonstrated rare commitment to the sector.
Speaking at the 51st edition of the popular Notting Hill Carnival in the United Kingdom, Melaye said Governor Ambode deserved to be commended for his commitment to the development and promotion of tourism and culture as an alternative way of job creation and youth empowerment.
He said it was on record that the Governor had been using the rich artistic potentials of the State as a veritable tool for branding and for polishing the image of Nigeria abroad.
While addressing several thousands of people at the Carnival, the Senator said Governor Ambode’s exemplary achievements in the area of culture and tourism promotion was a shining example of how a State can develop and distinguish itself among its peers.
In its second year running, Lagos State Government supported the Lagos Corner, a section of the Notting Hill Carnival, which is famous worldwide as Europe’s biggest street party that celebrates Afro-Caribbean culture and lifestyle.
“I’m impressed with what Lagos State Government is doing here. This is a huge platform for the promotion of our culture and creative artists. I must commend Governor Ambode for his rare commitment to this initiative and for providing a rallying point for Nigerians in the UK and those visiting to have a voice and quality presence at this extraordinary gathering,” Melaye said.
In apparent reference to The Lagos Street Party, a yearly showpiece that made its debut in December 2016, the Senator said with what he saw in London, Lagos State should organise a carnival that will attract the attention of the world to Nigeria’s rich culture and artistic talents.
“I want to congratulate Lagos State for taking the lead in tourism and entertainment in Nigeria. Thumbs up to Lagos State, thumbs up to Governor Ambode and thumbs up to the All Progressives Congress (APC) party. With this fantastic outing, I also congratulate Nigeria for having a Governor like Ambode. There’s no country like Nigeria,” the Senator said.
Besides, Melaye urged Nigerians in the Diaspora to show more interest in the developments being recorded in the country, saying that very soon, they would see that the APC means well in Nigeria.
Similarly, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the huge presence of Lagos State at the carnival and the success it recorded was “a demonstrable evidence of Governor Ambode’s commitment to promote tourism and entertainment as an alternative to oil and gas in Nigeria.”
Ayorinde said it was gratifying that Lagos State reverberated throughout the high season of cultural promotions which the month of August represents in London.
He said aside the Lagos Corner at the Notting Hill Carnival, the State also supported the Felabration Initiative, which saw the hosting of a musical float in honour of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti at the carnival to commemorate the 20th anniversary of his death.
The State also promoted the participation of students from public schools in Lagos at the month-long Totally Thames Festival. All this at a time that a Lagosccentric theatre production – Saro the Musical – by Bolanle Austen-Peters is running for a whole week with rave reviews at London’s westend.
“What this portends for Lagos State in terms of brand identity and reputation is unquantifiable. Lagos State is gaining fast traction as a big player in international cultural circles. The State has practically been on everybody’s lips in London in the past one week,” Ayorinde stated.