Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday expressed optimism that the activities lined up for the forthcoming Lagos International Jazz Day will go a long way to showcase the tourism potentials of the State to the World.
Governor Ambode, who spoke at the Lagos House, Ikeja when he played host to some of the groups collaborating with the State Government on the forthcoming star-studded concert to commemorate the 2016 International Jazz Day, said apart from being the financial and commercial hub of Nigeria, his administration will work hard to equally transform Lagos to the tourism hub of Africa.
He restated his administration's strong commitment to use tourism, hospitality, sports, entertainment and arts to grow the economy of the state, just as he assured that nothing would be spared in transforming Lagos to the tourism hub of Africa. He said: "We want to emulate and even surpass the International Jazz Festival in Cape Town, South Africa, and then be on the world stage and that is the significance of this collaboration that we have decided to go into.
"During the electioneering campaign, we did promise that we will use entertainment and arts, tourism and sports to propel Lagos to the next level and this is one of the ways through which we hope to achieve that. We want to use entertainment to grow our economy, create jobs for the people and create that global picture of what Lagos is and what Lagos is not.
"Like you are all aware, Lagos is the financial and commercial hub of Nigeria and we want to be the tourism hub of Africa and we are going to use the Jazz family to start that journey and that is why we are hosting the concert here at the Lagos House," Governor Ambode said. The groups on the courtesy visit include Lagos International Jazz Festival Group, Runway Jazz and Satchmo Jazz.
Earlier, leader of the delegation and Chief Executive Director of Inspiro Productions, Mr. Ayoola Shadare, said Jazz had gone beyond just music, but a veritable instrument that can be used to grow the economy if properly managed.
He said for instance, the South African government generated over a billion rand from the Cape Town Jazz Festival, and that Lagos could do far much better if properly managed.
He, however, appreciated Governor Ambode for showing genuine interest in the Jazz Festival, especially with the massive concert billed to take place at the Lagos House on April 30. Similarly, the State's Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde has declared readiness of the State Government to successfully organize the concert.
Ayorinde, while addressing a press briefing on the festival, recalled the success recorded by the State Government on the One Lagos Fiesta, a countdown music and entertainment show used to usher in the New Year 2016 which was held simultaneously in five locations across the state for the first time, and said the Jazz Festival was equally designed to give a quantum leap to the tourism potentials of the state.
The Commissioner said: "On Saturday April 30, the Governor is hosting An Evening of Jazz at the State House in Ikeja. It will be an exclusive but colourful evening to identify with UNESCO initiative, welcome an array of Nigerian Jazz musicians to perform at the State House and to share the warm hospitality of Lagos State with the Jazz community."
He said the concert being put together by the State Government was in sync with a similar concert being put together by the United States President, Barrack Obama at the White House on April 29, adding that the hash tag of the day would be #LagosAmboJazz.
Some of the artistes billed to perform at the concert, according to Ayorinde, are Dare Art-Alade, Yinka Davies, Lekan Babalola (two-time co-Grammy winner) with the Eko Brass Band, Herbert Kunle Ajayi, Bright Gain, Adeh and the Spectacle Band - Afrojazz guitar Supremo, Ubong Ntia, Sam and the Jazz Apostles, featuring Dera, Dotun Bankole Band, Victor Ademofe Band, Omolara, Dapo Fasuyi, and Organic Jazz.