Lagos State Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture has expressed its intention to explore areas of a possible partnership with the Leather Bag Makers in the state so that they can jointly train youths in leather bag making to enhance skills acquisition and capacity development.

The State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka made this known recently during the visit by the Leather Group led by Princess Debowale Odetola and other brand designers to the Ministry to discuss ways of collaboration in the area of tourism development.

The Commissioner said the Ministry will continue to look into ways of improving the sector and empowering youths by collaborating with relevant stakeholders in the industry.

Benson-Awoyinka informed that the State Government is ever ready to create an enabling environment for business owners to thrive in the state, stressing that with their support of government programmes and policies in the leather bag-making industry, their businesses will continue to thrive.

The Commissioner identified the need to expose more youth to training, like that of the leather bag industry, to enhance their capacities and achieve the mandates of the Ministry in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Plus Agenda of the State Government.  

The Special Adviser to Mr. Governor on Tourism Arts and Culture, Mr. Idris Aregbe, who was also present at the meeting, commended the courage of the delegation for approaching the Ministry to showcase their products.

He advised them to form an association so that there can be seamless integration between the Lagos State Government and the Leather Bag Makers in the State. This will also help other interested parties in the industry.

The team lead of the Group, Princess Debowale Odetola appreciated the efforts of the State Government in the Tourism Sector, especially in its commitment to train and enhance capacity building of youths in the State.

She opined that the Ministry should support the group in training those interested in learning the business and also focus on those eager to learn. She also solicited financial support like grants to stakeholders to help improve the sector.

Princess further said that Bag Making has to be a purpose-driven project, from beginning to end, as such it should be given special attention because it will be made for both the local and international markets.

Other bag makers present at the meeting include Gbemisola Johnson of Oeclat Designs and Hadiza Jawando of Deez Mundu Designs among others.