Members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have admitted that the One Lagos Fiesta, initiated by the administration of former Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode earned huge revenue for the State Government.
This came to fore on Tuesday during the plenary of the House shortly before the Lawmakers passed a resolution summoning a former Commissioner for Tourism and Culture, Shulamite Adebolu to appear before it over the flop of the 2019 edition.
Shulamite, appointed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in 2019 to head the Tourism Ministry was however sacked in early January and was immediately replaced by Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, who until her redeployment was the Commissioner for Home Affairs.
The resolution followed a motion moved by Chairman, House Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Saka Solaja, under Matter of Urgent Public Importance, who expressed concerns that despite the resources earmarked for the fiesta, it recorded a below-par performance.
The assembly, also, in its resolution also called the Special Adviser and Permanent Secretary in charge of the ministry to join the former commissioner in appearing before them.
They also called on the present Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Akinbile-Yusuf to brief them on the itinerary of the ministry for this year.
The Assembly expressed sadness at how the event failed woefully in 2019, noting that previous editions earned the State huge revenue which had a positive effect on the State’s economy.
“The Y2019 Fiesta was an eyesore, despite being invited by the Committee to give a brief about the itinerary before the event; The Commissioner said that the Fiesta was going to hold for two days, instead of 7 days. This Fiesta is to occupy the delinquents in the State for the duration and is to be compared with other carnivals, however, the Fiesta turned out to be a disaster and we, therefore, need to call on the former Commissioner to give an account of the whole process.”
It would be recalled that the Ambode administration introduced an innovative Calendar of Arts and Culture events in January 2018 specifically to assist both local and foreign visitors in planning their visit to and around Lagos with a detailed guide of festivals and art events available in each month.
In January 2019, trends and reports monitored by the State Government shoed that the State’s economy recorded an unprecedented boost in the entertainment, hospitality and creative sectors in the yuletide season of 2018 of the yuletide season.
Likewise, the state government added that trends and reports it monitored within the period showed an estimated spending well above N50 billion in cash transactions during the period, a record slightly higher than what it recorded in December 2017.
The report noted that figures obtained from immigration and aviation authorities showed that December has always recorded the busiest footfall in Lagos.
Aside the One Lagos Fiesta which drew over two million visitors cumulatively across its five venues over eight days from December 24 to 31, 2018, other major musical concerts by Davido, Whiz Kid, Burma Boy, Adekunle Gold, Rhythm Unplugged and Sound City Awards also attracted large crowd into Lagos and by implication huge spending.