The recent Bill that was passed into Law by the Lagos State House Assembly (LAHA) that will provide for the establishment of the Lagos State Tourism Promotion Agency and for connected purposes is a welcome idea in Lagos State.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, on accension into Office in February 2018, had pledged the commitment of his Ministry to partner with journalists and writers of tourism in the pursuit of the development and promotion of tourism in the State.
According to him, his plans for tourism in the state is based on a tripod; Policy, Programme and Infrastructure development.
It is safe to write that with the new Bill passed into Law after third reading on the floor of the Lagos State House of Assembly is in accordance with the philosophy of the Commissioner on Tourism, especially on Policy formulation.
Judging from the features of the 54-section Bill that was sponsored by 13 members of the Legislators which included Majority Leader, Mr. Agunbiade, and passed into Law, Monday November 5, 2018 revealed that: “The Agency shall be a corporate body with perpetual succession and a common seal, and shall have the powers to sue and be sued in its corporate name.
“To promote, market and develop the state domestically and internationally as a major tourist destination by highlighting its uniqueness and assisting the development of its tourism products and services.
“The Agency is also expected to advise private organisations, state and local government on matters relating to tourism.
“It will also facilitate the creation of investment opportunities for tourism development by focusing on beach and leisure, culture and heritage, arts and entertainment, nature and adventure, wellness and medical tourism, among others.
“The bill also spelt out the composition of the Agency’s Governing Board, term of office, remuneration and allowances, cessation of office of members of the board, meetings, quorum, and powers of the board among other things.
“The Agency is put in place to promote the state’s tourism industry and achieve international best practices in the delivery of tourism products and services.”
Having understood the importance of the establishment of the Lagos State Tourism Promotion Agency (LSTPA), it behoves on the relevant stakeholders to commence modalities on how their interest can be spotlighted, promoted and benefit the entire populace. Such of these, is the Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Area, popularly known as Ajegunle.
It is imperative to focus on the cultural heritage and historical deposition of various ethnic groups from Nigeria inside one of the most populous city in Lagos State.
Having been officially recognised in the 19th Century as one of the territories owned by the Ojora Chieftaincy family (Now Royal House) from Lagos Island, there exist earlier; occupation of the Ijaw, Urhobo and Isoko tribes and settlement on the area by the Adeyemo, Fakunle, Bakare and Thomas Families. These families contributed to the traditional and cultural heritage in Ajegunle.
In the modern day cultural history of Ajegunle, the Oje-ApapaParapoEgungun Festival, Igunnu-Ko Festival and Opa Festival represents some of the consistent tourist attractions the Lagos State Government must take a cursory look into and invest accordingly.
The adaptation of a Creole as a means of communication among the different ethnic groups in Ajegunle is a natural depository of facts for Linguistic Research among scholars on how the Pidgin English has evolved from various dialects and vocabularies inside Ajegunle. And for residents in this city, communication grows from their worldviews with proud referencing for cultural attribution.
The Local Government under the leadership of Hon. FataiAdekunleAyoola is promoting a new culture of people with proactive understanding for behavioural change, economic development and youth emancipation. This he described as the ‘New Ajegunle’.
The ‘New Ajegunle’ movement has successfully oriented the major stakeholders in the Local Government on the need to intensify sense of unity among the youth and elderly, devoid of any tribe they belong. These Stakeholders whose names from an individual point of view are celebrities who excelled in one field or the other are expected to influence the younger generation for a attitudinal change and diligence for an emerging vibrant society.
From the Entertainment world, the nation has witnessed mass outflow of individual ingenuity in Ajegunle that have held the world spell bound. Therefore, it will interest tourists to become enlightened about the neighbourhoods some celebrities like Daddy Showkey, Samson Siasia, Basket Mouth and host of others grew up from.
Historically, Ajegunle excels in the areas of sports and entertainment. The patterned sound beat for Ajegunle Up and Coming Recording Artistes is legendary, and it does not require introduction at social events. Music Producers can explore, refine and sell it to the world for entertainment posterity.
The symbol of Aje, inside the Aje Park opposite Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Secretariat is a symbolic feature of what characterised the economic prosperity of Ajegunle.
And while the wait for the assent of the Lagos State Governor; Mr. AkinwunmiAmbode begins for the establishment of the Lagos State Tourism Promotion Agency (LSTPA), Ajegunle is ready to receive the world through her cultural heritage and wellness of the people in Entertainment and Sports.