Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola yesterday called on the Federal Government to step up security at the boarders as part of efforts to boost investment in the hospitality industry.
Fashola who spoke while inaugurating the Hotel Grading and Classification Review and Appeal Committees in the state said the nation’s tourism potentials have not been fully tapped, adding that government must ease the process of visa procurement for people intending to visit the country.
“These are the things that I believe the FG must begin to work out the regime that will be open and transparent, so that we can reap the benefits. There is so much the country has to put out there. It must be a multi-jurisdictional collaboration where everyone will manage its own allotted roles, so that the tourism industry of the country can be effective”, the governor stressed.
He noted that the recent Supreme Court judgment which put to rest the six years court battle and paves way for state governments to take full control of tourism regulations and development within their respective jurisdiction will further provide an avenue for tourism growth in Lagos.
“We have seen very rapid development of hotels and hospitality facilities in Lagos in the last six years. But they haven’t happened accidentally. They have happened due to the state government policies, aimed at expanding the economic frontier of the state. They have come as a result to the state government investment in security, promoting night life and culture, erection of street lights and cleaning of the city. Tourism and hospitality in many parts of Africa are sources for creating employment and sources of generating revenue, unfortunately, during this argument between both tiers of government, the growth the state government expected from the massive investment weren’t achieved.
“Although tourist traffic in the state has increased, last year, the state was ranked by an international agency as the second most visited city in the continent with 2.2 million visitors. Despite our population, Dubai was doing better than the state with over 30million tourists.
“This is the first of the series of the reform that will take place in the tourism sector of Lagos state. Over the last two years, we have secured the services of consultants to set the framework to regulating and grade hotels in the state.
Responding on behalf of the Committees, former Presidential candidate of the National Conscience Party in 2011 elections, Dele Momodu said members of the Committee agreed to serve because of the sustained development witnessed in the state under the present administration.