The Lagos State Government has earmarked N4.64 billion to enhance tourist sites in the state in the current year. Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, made this announcement during the groundbreaking ceremony for the $100 million Lagos Film City in Ejinrin-Epe.
Benson-Awoyinka highlighted that several tourist sites, including the J.Randle Centre for Yoruba Culture and the Agia Tree project, have already undergone improvements. She emphasised the government’s commitment to investing substantial funds in enhancing various tourist centres across the state, with N4.635 billion allocated for this purpose in 2023.
The commissioner also discussed collaborations with prominent players in the entertainment industry, such as Ebonylife Academy, Delyork, and Ogidi Studios, which have provided platforms for aspiring talents to develop skills in acting, directing, scripting, cinematography, editing, photography, and more.
The government’s strategic steps in the tourism and creative sectors have begun to make a significant contribution to the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through various avenues.
Regarding the Lagos Film City project, Benson-Awoyinka revealed that it is designed as a comprehensive facility with leisure, entertainment, and educational infrastructure. Spanning 100 hectares, the project will feature accommodation and state-of-the-art studios to support television, radio, and film production, including pre-production, production, post-production, distribution, and more.
The Lagos Film City aims to be the largest in Africa, both in name and in the quality of its offerings to the creative industry. The fact that such a substantial project is developed through a public-private partnership underscores the integrity and strength of Lagos State’s economic policies and financing.
The Elejirin of Ejirin Land, Oba Babatunde Balogun, expressed his excitement about the development in his community and offered prayers for Governor Sanwo-Olu. He lauded the groundbreaking ceremony as a new beginning for Ejirin.
Wale Anomo, the Executive Chairman of Ikosi-Ejinrin Local Council Development Area, expressed gratitude to Governor Sanwo-Olu for choosing Ejinrin as the location for the film city. He anticipated the project would bring infrastructural prosperity and numerous job opportunities to the community.
Linus Idahosa, Founder of Delyork Group, mentioned that the completed film city would accommodate a creative university to bridge the gap between academia and industry practitioners.
Notably, actor Femi Adebayo commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his unwavering support for the creative industry, which has instilled confidence among artists.