Plans are ongoing towards the organisation of an arts and craft exhibition in Lagos State as part of efforts to boost youth employment.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, who made this known in a chat with newsmen in Alausa Ikeja, announced that the Ministry which had already started implementing the Community Based Tourism, CBT, an aspect of the State’s revised Tourism Masterplan had trained one hundred and fifty youths to serve as tour guides.
Encouraging unemployed youths in Lagos to take advantage of opportunities available in the sector, Mrs Akinbile-Yussuf noted that they can go into arts and crafts, especially the production of items of cultural and aesthetics values, which can be purchased as souvenirs by continental and international tourists coming into Lagos.
According to her, the proposed Arts and Crafts Exhibition will further create a platform for the exposure of those already engaged in the sector and provide a much larger market for them.
“There are so many job opportunities around tourism, take for example, when we went to Israel, I realized that many of the people there are not even christians, but they are taking advantage of the opportunities in pilgrimage, people come to Lagos and they leave without souvenirs indigenous to the State, so, the opportunities are there and we are encouraging residents, especially the use to key into them” she said
The Commissioner stated that her Ministry had been engaging community leaders in selected local government areas on the need to curb identified challenges, such as harassment by area boys and ways of harnessing the gains of domestic tourism.
She said “We have been sensitizing the communities to be more receptive ensure that they are hostile to tourists, if they want to see the traditional rulers house, take them there, when they visit the markets, don’t abuse them for not buying everything, so, we are encouraging and training them on how to welcome tourists”
According to her, the six pilot LGAs for the CBT, namely Ikorodu, Epe, Oshodi Isolo, Surulere, Eti-Osa and Badagry cut across the division of the State and findings conducted by the State government show that identified points of tourism in these areas can be economically viable for the residents in particular and the State in general.