The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Art and Culture, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, on Friday restated the commitment of the Lagos Government toward ensuring an enabling environment for the creative industry.
She said for the creative industry to thrive, it would be given the due attention needed.
Akinbile-Yussuf said this at the graduation ceremony of the state’s sponsored trainees under the Lagos State Government partnerships with Ebony Life Creative Academy based in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the graduation ceremony for the 120 LASG sponsored trainees was held at the Ebony Life Place, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Akinbile-Yussuf noted that the government sponsored the scheme because of human development and also opportunities to boost the economy of the state.
“Lagos State is not just the hub of economic activities in the country alone, it is also the soul of entertainment activities which serves as an already made market for you in your different areas of expertise.
“The intention of the State Government for initiating this training programme is to produce competent creative individuals who will be able to handle our creative industry without relying on foreign support.
“We believe that there is need to change the narrative in the creative industry generally, having observed that there are quite a number of talented individuals in the industry who have impressive storylines and creative ideas that would impact the general society”.
Akinbile-Yussuf, however, said that government was fully aware of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to the creative industry, hence it had been lending necessary support.
“The State Government is fully aware of the challenges that is confronting the entire entertainment, tourism and hospitality sector since the advent of COVID-19.
“This is why the leadership of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu initiated some palliatives for practitioners to encourage them to continue to be in business in spite of the devastating effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
“Following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic last year, the State Government approved the release of N1 billion as a palliative for practitioners in the industry to aid their swift recovery of the pandemic.
“The fund which is domiciled with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund is been accessed by some beneficiaries and it’s still available for interested and qualified beneficiaries,” she said
The Commissioner for Tourism noted that 50 per cent rebate was given to all ”our practitioners in the payment of their annual renewal fees to the State Government last year.
“Apart from this, the Lagos State Governor in demonstration of his love for this industry recently approved a special fund for film makers.
“This, he did, through the inauguration of a committee to oversee the disbursement of this funds to qualified individuals who can access up to ₦40 million Naira from the fund.
“The Lagos Theatres located in different parts of the state are now operational including the recently restored Glover Memorial Hall, Lagos,” she said.
According to her, the State Government has invested heavily in these cultural and tourism structures as a way of encouraging the growth of arts industry.
”Also by providing a befitting place for our practitioners to exhibit their talents and groom other upcoming talents,” Akinbile-Yussuf said.
Again, she urged the trainees to make the best use of the opportunities given to them by the government by making positive impacts in the arts industry.
“I will implore the beneficiaries of this scheme to take advantage of the knowledge which you have acquired during the past few weeks at this academy and make the State Government proud.
“I am highly elated to celebrate with our graduating trainees of today who had endured the weeks of rigorous theoretical and practical drilling from the best of the best facilitators.
“This is under the partnership initiative between Lagos State Government, through Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and EbonyLife Academy.
“I congratulate the trainees from this programme and more importantly because they have the already made markets here in Lagos State,” she said.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ebony Life Creative Academy, Mo Abudu, commended the state government for the initiative.
She said that such scheme would have a great impact in the society.
One of the trainees, Tris Udeh, commended the state government. describing the scheme as a worthy investment in the future of the youths in the state.