Lagos State Boosts Creative Industry To Be More Competitive 

Richard Ginika Izuora

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has said that his administration is giving a cutting-edge opportunity to practitioners in the creative sector to compete favourably with their contemporaries across the globe in the area of directing, cinematography, acting and in all the processes of film production from script to screen.

The Governor who addressed a set of creative trainees sponsored by his administration with Del-York Academy on Tuesday in Lagos, explained that the investment in human capacity development of practitioners in the creative sector by his administration is aimed at giving the beneficiaries world-class exposure in the creative field.

Governor Sanwo-Olu said; “We will give you the opportunity that will make you be what you want to be and I believe this will put Lagos and Nigeria in that International space where even players in the international world will look out for you.”

While expressing excitement with the partnership with DelYork Academy, Governor Sanwo-Olu who joined the event virtually, averred that Delyork Academy, run by Mr. Linus Idahosa presented a compelling need for the partnership, being a serious-minded organization that have put together a first class faculty for the students.

He stated that “I am convinced that this is a journey that all of you will appreciate and a journey that will open up the entire world unto your palms, a journey that will make you a global competitive professional in the creative industry.”

The Governor used the event to inform that the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture would also be launching some other products that will help the Creative, Entertainment and Tourism side of the industry in addition to other ongoing support for practitioners in the sector.

Sanwo-Olu assured the trainees that he would be checking on them to examine the training sessions and to be assured that the content they are being exposed to will indeed give them the space to become a global player in the world.

The Governor said, “We will give you opportunity to make you be what you want to be and I believe this will make Lagos and Nigeria in that International space where even players in the international world will look out for you.

“I plead you take it very seriously so that after your training, others will also be beneficiaries to the training and begin to build a robust ecosystem that we will all be proud of.

The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Pharm. Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile Yussuf, in her remarks at the event, lamented that too many African-themed movies are shot outside of the continent, outside the reach of the African themselves who should be the primary beneficiaries of the attendant economics of these productions.

She explained that the rationale behind the Lagos State Creative Industry Initiative (LACI), a concept initiated by the Ministry, is to make Lagos; Africa’s entertainment & creative industry capital and to ensure it takes its place in the African continent as the undisputed Centre for outsourcing creative talent into the global entertainment industry talent pool.

In her words, “The real Lagos has more than enough stories to tell, enough sites and people to feature in these movies without any fear of cultural misrepresentation and or appropriation!

“To bring this vision of domesticating these revenues into our local economy to fruition, our young people who will courageously lead us into the future must first be intentionally equipped with modern know-how, techniques, and the technology learning tools to ensure they can carry the mantle and deliver on this important objective.”

Akinbile-Yussuf, enjoined the trainees of the Creative Lagos program to not only see themselves as participants in another training course but as ambassadors of the long-term vision of Lagos, knowing that their success is inextricably tied to that of Lagos.

Earlier, the President of DelYork Academy, Linus Idahosa, lauded the vision of the present administration for investing in the creative sector, saying that the Governor is a forward thinking Governor and very futuristic in his administration.

He said, “we believe that Lagos State can become the human capital and base for creative industry across the country and we believe that the seed have been sown among the students who are being sponsored today.

“So on behalf of Del-York academy, on behalf of all the people in Del-York crew, we want to say a very big thank you to the entire members of the Lagos State Government and most importantly the Honorable Commissioner of the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and we want to say a very big thank you for supporting this initiative.”

One of the beneficiaries who gave testimonial at the event, Deji Olatunde, described the gesture of the State Government of accessing a world class international training here in Nigeria for zero naira amidst the pandemic as a rare privilege. Deji Olatunde said ” we believe this is not just a pivotal point but history in the making, because we know Nigerians are very creative but no formal structured training was in place.

“This initiative gives us the opportunity to interact with world class people, it also gives us a way to structure our thinking to put forth materials to change the narrative in a way to link up with the world class.

He pleaded with the government to put a law in place to ensure that the initiative continues and transcends the present administration. This, according to him, is the way through which Lagos can become a creative capital of Nigeria and change the narrative of Africa as a whole.

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