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    Lagos engages tourism stakeholders on critical sectoral issues

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    Lagos engages tourism stakeholders on critical sectoral issues

    Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and the private sector tourism industry practitioners in the state had an interactive engagement last week. Also in attendance were other state government agencies that interface with practitioners.

    The event, held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos, focused on clarifying key state government policies for greater understanding between the private practitioners and Lagos State.

    According to the commissioner for tourism in the state Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka, the state sought to engage with industry stakeholders on the need for cooperation and collaboration on emerging trends and new challenges in the sector.

    The commissioner said: “This gathering is long overdue, considering happenings in the sector and the need to always share views on how to improve and operate in line with acceptable best practices.”

    The highlight of the engagement was the discussion segment where both agencies of the government and practitioners had an opportunity to talk about key government policy decisions that are affecting the growth of the industry in the state, most especially in the areas of taxes and levies.

    Benson-Awoyinka said: “We must leverage on our collective strengths to build a robust and resilient hospitality sector. We will also have the opportunity to listen to some hospitality experts that would constitute a panel session of discussions today. In the same vein, some of your questions and agitations would be attended to from the government perspective while listening to our first panel made up of heads of agencies whose mandates relate to this important sector from safety to environment, to parking management and taxation. They would also be sharing their thoughts on how we can all synergize for a better hospitality sector.”

    Earlier in the week, the tourism ministry had briefed the media on the activities of the ministry in the last one year. Among other things, the commissioner said the ministry had trained over 3,748 youths in creative skills and intended to train an additional 5,000 youths in the next three years.

    She disclosed that the state government is currently in partnership with four different creative academies to enhance the capabilities of young creative practitioners in the state.

    Benson-Awoyinka, who restated the state’s commitment to the tourism master plan, said it would continue to provide an enabling environment for businesses to thrive through collaborations with the private sector for a Greater Lagos.

    She also urged stakeholders to partner with the government to build a legacy of cultural excellence that enriches lives, inspires generations, and leaves an indelible mark on the world.

    The commissioner also said the tourism ministry is expecting to deliver the ongoing construction of the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande’s statue before the end of the month.

    She said that, among other feats of the ministry, the state played host to the annual Africa Movie Academy Awards (AMAA) in October last year.

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    Medical tourism abroad CMD tasks wealthy Nigerians to support healthcare delivery

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    Medical tourism abroad CMD tasks wealthy Nigerians to support healthcare delivery

    The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Ilorin, Kwara State, Professor Yussuf Abdullah Dasliva, at the weekend called on the wealthy individuals in the country to continue to support the government at all levels in the efforts to improve healthcare delivery for the populace.

    Dasliva however said that, such support would also reduce medical tourism overseas in the country.

    Speaking in Ilorin during the official commissioning of multi billion naira the Batuli Ajiferuke Shagaya Burn Intensive Care Unit (BAS-BICU) building in the UITH, Prof. Yusuf, stated that, apart from this, it would also boost the quality of healthcare delivery in the country.

    The facility was donated by Alhaji Sheriff Shagaya and he is the son of the wealthy woman, Alhaja Muina Shagaya.

    He said that, “Let me reiterate that we should endeavour to delineate donations from Public-Private-Partnerships (PPP).

    “Donations are usually made to support various government activities/functions in order to improve/expand services to the citizenry/humanity without any anticipatory accruals (personal/groups).

    “Whereas, PPP are aimed at accruals to parties involved, and are usually not done by fiats but through laid down rules/due processes.

    “Thus, once donations are made to Government/Government establishments, such donations automatically become the responsibilities of government/its establishments to manage, in accordance with the intended purposes, without any individual/group of individuals wanting to take control of such donations or sharing the accruals; nor constituting any Board of Trustee (BOT) for government properties. Such acts are absolutely illegal and should not be contemplated”.

    The CMD appreciated the donor, saying that the project would ensure provision of quality health care and attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC) to the populace.

    The CMD, who solicited more donations (in whatever forms) to UITH, llorin, added that such donations would enable the hospital (with its abundant expertise) to continually improve and expand its quality healthcare provisions; and further contribute to reducing the tides of the increasing medical tourism overseas.

    Earlier, the donor, Alhaji Shagaya said that, though, healthcare is a basic human right, but it is far from being equally accessible to all.

    Alhaji Shagaya, thus, called on Nigerians to bridge gap in health care provisions and provide quality healthcare to those who need it most, since governments cannot shoulder the responsibility alone.

    “This project is not just a token of our love for philanthropy, but a reflection of our recognition that we all have a part to play in strengthening our society.

    “Healthcare is a basic human right, yet it is far from being equally accessible to all. The onus is on us, as responsible citizens, to bridge this gap and provide quality healthcare to those who need it most.

    “While our government is doing its best, they cannot shoulder this responsibility alone. It is our duty as fellow human beings to lend a helping hand”, he said.

    The donor, who said that he lost his grandmother, Batuli Ajiferuke Shagaya, to burns, added that the death inspired him to spearhead the project.

    “The pain of losing my grandmother, a loss I still carry with me to this day, is inseparable from the hope that we can save others from a similar fate.

    “It is a project that would have filled my grandmother with pride had she been here today.

    “The Batuli Ajiferuke Shagaya Burn Intensive Care Unit (BAS-BICU) building in UITH, Ilorin marks a significant milestone in the healthcare sector, particularly in the management of acute burns.

    “The new intensive care unit aimed to meet the objective of limiting the systemic insult that accompanies burn injuries, it also aimed at providing a higher level of specialized care to patients suffering from burns.

    “It will also play a crucial role in preventing infections related to invasive procedures and improving the overall care and treatment of burn patients.

    “The BAS-BICU will serve as a beacon of hope for those who have been afflicted with severe burns, offering a higher level of care that will not only improve treatment outcomes but also help prevent devastating infections and improve the overall quality of life for those who require such specialized care”, he said.

    Shagaya said that, “the over N250million Burn Center is unmatched in the North Central region, adding that, the state-of-the-art facilities therein, “are to serve the needs of our community, to save lives, and to promote healing and recovery

    The equipment you see before you will serve as tools in the hands of skilled professionals, transforming the treatment of burn patients in our country”.

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    ‘I’m Not Interested,’ Ndume Rejects Appointment As Senate Tourism Committee Chair

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    ‘I’m Not Interested,’ Ndume Rejects Appointment As Senate Tourism Committee Chair

    The Senator representing Borno South Ali Ndume has rejected the chairmanship of the Committee on Tourism in the upper lawmaking body.

    Ndume was sacked as the senate chief whip over comments he made criticising President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s running of the country.

    He was subsequently picked as the chairman of the Senate Community on Tourism, a move the vocal lawmaker has turned down.

    “So, I’m not interested in accepting the committee on tourism for the two reasons I told you,” the Borno South lawmaker said in his Maiduguri hometown, 48 hours after he was sacked as the chief whip.

    “I told you I’m inexperienced in that. I don’t know anything, I’m not knowledgeable about tourism. So, I would, if any, prefer to remain as an ordinary member so that I can learn about tourism.”
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    ‘Act of God’

    He likened his removal to an act of God.

    “Secondly, the party that recommended to the Senate that I should be removed from being the chief whip of the Senate, I take that as an act of God because if it is God who gave me that position. It is God that took it through APC. So, I bear no grudges about that,” he said.

    “After all, I did not contest to be the chief whip. I did not contest to be the vice chairman of the appropriation committee. I contested to be the se one of the Senators of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and God granted me that victory and I’m happy with God, what God has given to me.”

    ‘I’m Not Wrong’

    He also defended his comments, saying there was nothing wrong with them.

    “I did not say anything wrong. And therefore I want to state that I stand by all my statements in the interview I granted,” the senator insisted.

    “So, I know that I’m not wrong. The people are not wrong by speaking the truth and standing by the truth,” the 64-year-old.

    “And I pray that the president who by now, I expect the message should have gotten to him, looks at what I have said and takes appropriate measures to eliminate the suffering of the people.”

    Following his sack, there were calls for his resignation as a member of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

    But Ndume said the decision to quit the APC requires consultations.

    “So, I’m not a new member. I didn’t join APC just like that. It was in consultation with my people that I joined APC. I take his advice and I will get, I know across to my people,” the lawmaker said.

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    Governor’s wife showcases Kwara’s tourism wealth

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    The wife of Kwara Governor, Olufolake Abdulrasaq, on Thursday, urged local and international tourists to explore the tourism potential in the state.

    Mrs Abdulrazaq made the call in Ilorin at the ongoing annual general meeting (AGM) and conference of the National Association of Nigeria Tour Operators (NATOP).

    The AGM has its theme as “Tourism as Catalyst for Progress, Peace and Partnership”.

    “Kwara, with its vantage in the North-central region, is endowed with immense and captivating tourist destinations, widely referred to as ‘a wonder in the wilderness’.

    “The Owu Falls is the highest and most spectacular natural waterfall in West Africa.

    “Founded in 1945 and widely referenced as the mother of all museums in Nigeria, the Esie Museum is located in Irepodun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

    “We have Imole Boja Rock Shelter; we also have the Sobi Hills, the University of Ilorin Zoological Garden, the Dada Pottery, and the Aso-oke weaving centres, among other very interesting sites.

    “In celebrating our culture and traditions, we equally have the annual Ilorin Durbar, the Gani Festival, the Shao Mass Wedding and the Patigi Boat Regatta, to mention a few,” she said.

    Mrs Abdulrazaq, who commended the tour operators for bringing their annual conference to the state, urged them to explore the spots mentioned and further promote the economic potential of the state.

    She said Kwara’s rich historical background, wonders of nature and exquisite cultural events are sights to behold.

    She said Governor AbdulRahman Abdulrasaq was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that opportunities in the tourism sector in the state were maximised.

    According to her, this is evident in the government’s engagements in partnerships, evolving investment-friendly policies and putting in place infrastructure to drive all sectors of the state’s economy.

    “In complementing this drive of government, my office and the Ajike People Support Centre are actively involved in promoting tourism and celebrating the cultural heritage of our people.

    “It may interest you to know that during our host of the Commonwealth quiz competition, top functionaries of the British government were conducted around some of these beautiful sites.

    “Also, I have sponsored some of our traditional aso-oke weavers to participate in fashion shows of international repute to showcaseenhanceate and enhancing their capacities,” she said.

    Akonitv reports that the conference began on 17 July and will end on 20 July.

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