• We need improved tourism to increase IGR –Lagos Speaker
Moshood Adebayo; Chinelo Obogo
Hundreds of traders at the popular Oko-Baba Plank Market, in Lagos State, have urged Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, to intervene in the eviction notice allegedly given them by the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) headquarters.
The traders appealed to Osinbajo to instruct the RCCG’s authorities to honour the June 2015 agreement between them and the church.
The agreement stipulates that the RCCG stays action on the eviction of the plank sellers until the state government relocates the traders before claiming their portion of the land.
Speaking on behalf of the traders yesterday, during a press briefing in Ebutte-Matta, Mr. Oludare Dada, lamented that the church, aided by policemen, have started embarking on destruction of their property in order to force them out of the site.
Dada argued that they will not accept eviction since the government was yet to complete their new location in Agbowa, Ikorodu.
“We have binding agreements with the state government, since the administration of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and RCCG. But, action of the church personnel, aided by the leadership of the religious organisation, cannot be overlooked.
“It is unbecoming of the church and its personnel to destroy our property and prevent us from gaining access to the market, where we earn our daily income. RCCG must know that there is law and no one is above the country’s law.
“We, therefore, appeal to Prof. Osinbajo, an ordained pastor of the church, and the state government to prevail on the church to respect the court and honour earlier agreements signed three years ago between both parties,” he added.
Meanwhile, Lagos state House of Assembly Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, has said the state government needs improved tourism sector to boost its internally generated revenues (IGR).
Obasasaid this during a stakeholders’ meeting on “a bill for a law on the establishment of the state’s Tourism Promotion Agency,” organised by the ad-hoc Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, at the Assembly complex, Alausa, Ikeja.
The speaker, who was represented by his deputy, Wasiu Ehinlokun, said for the bill to have great effect after becoming a law, there is the need for stakeholders to make a robust input into its content.
Obasa said the assembly would accommodate criticism on the bill. He said tourism in other developed countries has been transformed into revenue generation tool.
“There are still much opportunities to tap from tourism by the state government, to boost Lagos economy. The economic potential in tourism will add more economic value to the state and, also, help in achieving the blue print of the state’s tourism policies,” Obasa said.
On his part, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said there is need for the agency to be in existence to consolidate on the tourism gains of Governor Ambode.
Ayorinde said through the existence of the agency, tourism business in the state would have a facelift as well as open doors for more opportunities for youths.
“It is important to have the agency to consolidate the gains which have been made in the state in the last three years,” he said.