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Why you should visit Nigeria's commercial capital

Lagos State has a lot of tourist attractions that every one and every sector should take advantage of.

Elegushi beach Lagos

Granted, traffic jams may slow down activity in the state, and the numerous beaches may be littered with refuse, but the Lagos State Government is ready revamp tourism in the state.

Nigeria, a country that has survived on only crude oil for the most part, the combination of militants blowing up pipelines and the crash of crude oil prices in the international market have resulted into a recession.

There is a desperate scamper for alternative sources of income from all quarters; the government, organisations and individuals.

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According to data from Lagos state ministry of Commerce and Industry, Lagos accounts for 25 percent of Nigeria's gross domestic product and 65 percent of commercial activities.

Lagos unarguably has the strongest economic foundation and is best placed to positively handle the financial crisis.

Although businesses are facing serious challenges due to the exchange rate and dollar shortage that make it difficult to import goods, there is a shining beacon at the end of the tunnel.

Speaking to AFP, The Lagos State Tourism minister, Folorunsho Folarin-Coker said "We must find alternatives, encouraging tourism is a matter of life or death now."

"Recreation and tourism are the fastest ways to revive the economy. The money they generate drives straight into the community."

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"A concert can support vendors of suya (grilled meat) in the street, sound engineers, promote an artist," he said, imagining Lagos nightlife as the new  'Ibiza of Africa'".

The minister acknowledges the challenges such as security, power supply, affordable hotels etc. He says the plan is not to transform Lagos overnight.

He explained, "today we must build the foundations for local tourism. Tourism is a middle-class thing, and we have an emerging middle-class."

There are plans to make Lagos safe and more tourist friendly in the nearest future, and ironically, the recession may make it happen faster than envisaged.

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