Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state, says his administration will leverage the vast opportunities in entertainment, tourism and arts sectors to boost the Gross Domestic Product of the state.
Ambode who spoke on Tuesday at the Lagos House, Ikeja, when he received artistes who performed at the One Lagos Fiesta (OLF), added that he would promote talents in the state to compete globally.
The OLF, which is an annual end of the year revue put together by the government, held simultaneously in five different locations from December 24, 2016 to January 1, 2017.
Ambode said the creative industry remained a veritable platform to grow the economy, adding that the government would tap into it and use it to engage youths in the state.
The governor commended the artistes for their partnership with the government, pointing out that according to statistics, the state recorded the lowest crime rate during the period of the OLF.
He said, “We have a bulging youth population dynamics in Lagos. Sixty-six per cent of our population are below the age of 35 and if two-thirds are below 35, it means there is an economy in that age bracket. The OLF was used to test-run how to bring the people together.
“The issue now is how do we use that opportunity? Government is willing to use the entertainment industry to grow its GDP because if entertainers are working, we will have more visitors coming to Lagos; they will stay in our hotels; buy clothes and ultimately, more taxes will come in for the state.”
Ambode urged the artistes to come up with a structured framework to grow the economy, saying the government would provide infrastructure and initiatives to help the sector.
Artistes at the Lagos House include Queen Salawa Abeni, Adewale Ayuba, Tiwa Savage, Sound Sultan, Folarin Falana (Falz), M.I, Abaga, Patoranking, Reekado Banks, Humblesmith and Dammy Krane, among others.