The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Friday in Brussels, Belgium underscored the importance of using art and culture to promote democratic governance and advance people-oriented policies.
Ambode spoke at the Center for Fine Arts (BOZAR) in Brussels while attending the Center’s 2016 Summer Photography Exhibition as a Special Guest of Honour.
The exhibition, which largely focused on Lagos under the theme: “Dey Your Lane – Lagos Variations,” was an attempt to understand Lagos through those who feel it the most and can express these cognitive and emotional responses in an engaging and creative manner.
Governor Ambode seized the opportunity to call on all political leaders to partner with artists so that they can benefit from their creative and artistic imagination to tackle some of the challenges confronting megacities such as exponential urbanization.
He also used the medium to announce his administration’s determination to develop a new museum in the State.
Governor Ambode emphasized that his government’s engagement with the art, culture and entertainment sector, was in fulfillment of one of his key campaign promises, to vigorously pursue Project THESE, which stands for: Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment, Sport through Excellence.
The event was attended by Belgium’s senior government officials, including the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Affairs, Didier Reynders; and his wife; Ambode’s wife, Bolanle; the Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Folarin Coker; and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Overseas Affairs and Investment, Prof. Ademola Abass.
Earlier in the day, Governor Ambode met with the Managing Director (Africa) of the European Union’s External Action Services, Koen Vervaeke, in Brussels.
The meeting explored possible areas of collaboration between Lagos State and the European Union.
Varvaeke commended the progress Governor Ambode’s administration has made in the last one year, particularly in the area of security and infrastructural development.
Responding, Governor Ambode said his strides so far in the State were aimed at complementing President Muhammadu Buhari’s strong leadership since he assumed office on May 29, 2015.
The Governor said: “What we are doing in Lagos is to implement the policy direction from Abuja upon which we campaigned. We are lucky to have this synergy between Lagos State and Abuja and that can only be for the good of Lagos State and Nigeria in general.”