The Lagos state government has appointed Joke Silva, veteran Nollywood actress, as the chairman of its COVID-19 pandemic review committee.

Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, the state commissioner for tourism, arts and culture, inaugurated the six-man committee, which also has Ali Baba, veteran stand-up comedian, as member, at Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday.

According to her, members of the committee are expected to make recommendations to the state government on ways to rejuvenate its economy, particularly the tourism and entertainment industry, which has been affected by the pandemic.

“The situation in the world today was not pre-determined. This is where we are and this is what we have seen happening to us. The tourism sector is one of the worst-hit sectors by this pandemic because, on a daily basis, Lagos records new cases and we must not shy away from the fact that COVID-19 is still with us,” the commissioner said.

“Everywhere is shut down. The airline operators are not operating, there is nothing like Art exhibitions, and hospitality businesses have been put on hold. So, we want to find a way to sustain our economy and the industry, even with the pandemic and see how best we can continue to improve on the creative sector.”

Akinbile-Yusuf added that the committee is expected to submit is report in two weeks, adding that its inauguration was borne out of the state government’s drive to ensure tourism thrives beyond COVID-19.

Reacting to the appointment, the Joke Silva appreciated the state government for the opportunity, assuring that all the appointees will work together to achieve the expected results.

“I am very lucky to have intelligent people as members of the committee because they are men and women who are very knowledgeable and passionate about the industry,” she said.

“I know that our collaboration will result in good recommendations. The creative industry has been greatly affected by COVID-19, but we will get through it.”



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