In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic across the globe, the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has said that rather than getting overwhelmed with the fear of the contagious Coronavirus disease, Lagosians can still have fun moderately without breaching safety protocols. 

The Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf made this assertion over the weekend during the maiden edition of the Digital Lagos Party hosted by the Ministry across the social media for fun-loving Lagosians. 

Speaking at the virtual party which lasted for two hours, the Commissioner disclosed that the event was viewed live by over 27,000 users on the Lagos State Government Facebook Page alone, while some other participants joined the event through other social media platforms. 

While acknowledging that the pandemic had restricted activities in the Tourism and Entertainment industry, AkinbiIe-Yusuf revealed that the development has also brought to fore the need to leverage on technology to reactivate the sector, emphasising that limitless opportunities exist for the entertainment industry using technology. 

In her words, “Lagos is the hub of entertainment, our people are used to hanging out on weekends to unwind and relax but since the outbreak of this COVID-19 pandemic, the social life of the residents had been put on hold, so this type of programme is meant to revive the entertainment aspect of our lifestyles without compromising all the safety and health protocols”.

The Commissioner informed that the State government is not unaware of the challenges facing practitioners in the sector and the entire residents as a whole, revealing that the present administration is in the process of approving palliatives for practitioners in the tourism and entertainment industry.

Assuring Lagosians of the return of the old normal in the entertainment sector soon, the Commissioner advised all residents of the State to keep safe and always adhere to the guidelines stipulated by the government, stressing that COVID-19 is real and not a child’s play. 

In his remarks, Mr. Solomon Bonu, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Tourism, Arts and Culture, noted that the event is a way of experimenting with the new normal in the entertainment industry, saying that the Ministry wants to bring people out of depression, entertain Lagosians and also, create awareness about the new normal in the entertainment industry.

He said that the feedback from the event which is the first in its series, would be reviewed for future events to be hosted by the Ministry to keep the social life of the residents active. 

The Digital Party which took place at the Lagos Theatre Oregun, amidst strict observance of the COVID-19 guidelines, also had in attendance the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Babatunde Olaide-Mesewaku; Nollywood Star, Saidi Balogun and few other officials of the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture.