By ADEKUNLE SIJUADE
The Lagos State House of Assembly has summoned the former Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture in the state, Shulamite Olufunke Adebolu to appear before the House and give a detailed account of how the money allocated for the 2019 Greater Lagos Fiesta.
At plenary session on Tuesday, Chairman, House Committee on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Saka Solaja, had under Matter of Urgent Public Importance, informed the House of how the 2019 Greater Lagos Fiesta failed despite the huge budget allocated for the successful execution of the programme.
Solaja, who noted that the past Fiesta held in the state, were well organised with Lagosians, artistes commending the government on the initiative.
The lawmaker expressed regrets that the last Fiesta apart from witnessing a low turn out compared to previous years, also had many flaws due to poor planning and improper organisation.
“We allocated huge sums of money to the Ministry for this yearly programme to hold but we were surprised with how the programme went in 2019. So many Lagosians complained bitterly and some artistes also expressed their displeasure at how the event failed,
Members while contributing, expressed sadness at how the event failed woefully in 2019. Some of them noted that the ones organised previously, earned the state huge revenue.
Tunde Braimoh representing Kosofe Constituency 2 explained that, “Tourism is the future of Lagos, a public servant is a public trust, the former commissioner should be brought to account for all the budget that has been disbursed to her.”
The Majority Leader, Sanai Agunbiade explained that the intention of the Fiesta was to raise the bar of tourism in the state.
Agunbiade lamented that the 2019 Fiesta had a porous publicity, adding that, “people were asking questions to know if the Fiesta was going to hold or not, but eventually, there was nothing.
“Those who were meant to grace the occasion were not carried along and the event ended up failing, the fact that someone is or no more in government doesn’t mean he or she cant be summoned to explain some grey areas,’ said Agunbiade.
Other members who commented, complained that the failure of the programme in 2019 led to the loss of revenue generation. They maintained that the former Commissioner must appear before them to clarify why the Fiesta failed despite the huge sums allocated to finance the event.
Others commended the Chairman of the Tourism committee for bringing the matter before the House, noting that it shows that the committee is on top of its game.
The lawmakers in their resolution also called the Special Adviser, Permanent Secretary in charge of the Ministry to join the former Commissioner in appearing before them. They also called on the present Commissioner in the Ministry, Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf to come and brief them on the itinerary of the ministry for this year.
It would be recalled that the Sanwo-Olu sacked the former Commissioner in January over the flop of the Greater Lagos Fiesta.