Lagos brand is many things to many people – Gbenga Omotosho

By Felicia Nwosu

Lagos State as a brand is so many things to many people depending on which perspective they look at it from. Lagos is one big elephant, it depends on which angle you look at it. It’s one big brand that is all-encompassing, because there is nothing that you are looking for in all mega cities in the world that you won’t find here.

The above are the words with which Hon. Gbenga Omotosho, Honourable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State, used in describing the state during a media chat with MARKETING EDGE. The Commissioner also pointed out that the state in its efforts to be a 21st century mega city economy is leveraging tourism to build its equity as the business hub of the nation’s economy. He added that the Smart City has the potential to make tourism as big as oil in the Niger Delta.

Mr. Omotosho proudly revealed that tourism is one of the main pillars of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the Lagos State government, an acronym for six strategic agenda, which is the driving force for the development activities of His Excellency, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

The communication strategist explained that, as a brand, the state, which is no doubt the economic and tourism hub of Nigeria, has a marketing strategy to position itself as one of the fastest growing mega cities in the world. With most of the young people already in tourism and entertainment, he maintained that entertainment and tourism is pivotal to the state’s economy.

His words: “If you look at Lagos, tourism plays a major role in the growth of GDP in Lagos, because if you look at almost every part of the state, you will find something that excites you as a Lagosian and as a visitor.”

Pointing out the beaches, he noted that Lagos’ beaches are believed to be some of the best in the world in terms of their serenity, cleanliness, environment and fun. The communication expert also commended and revered the nature and beauty associated with Badagry as a tourist home for all.

“If you go to places like Badagry, you will encounter the history and artefacts of a tourist town because of the slave trade. Also, take a look at the entertainment sector in Lagos, it is the biggest in Africa. There is no city in Africa that is hosting as many clubs and as many entertainment sites like Lagos. If you look at it, tourism plays the major role in the GDP of Lagos and it is a big employer of labour.”

He explained that the state with its aquatic splendour is emerging as a city that is capable of diversifying and meeting modern market requirements. But he agreed that it needs the development of a consistent narrative which can truly communicate the existing potentials of the brand to a wider global audience.

The government spokesman acknowledged that the branding of Lagos has been a collaboration between Lagosians and the government. This, he said, is because the people can feel the impact of the inflow of investment via tourism, attributing it to the fact that the residents believe in Lagos. He stressed that branding is a continuous process and a work-in-progress, while applauding the Babajide Sanwolu’s administration for the technological advancement and other skills acquisition provided by His Excellency, as employment opportunities, which has transformed Lagos to become a hub of entrepreneurship.

“The people of Lagos are so resilient, proud of their Lagos identify and ready to protect it all the time. That in itself, is a selling point. What we do is, we try as much as possible to brand the state anywhere we go,” he affirmed.

Continuing, he added: “Lagos is a place that brings together Nigerians, foreigners, people from various backgrounds, from various professions, people from all walks of life, and there’s no discrimination in Lagos. Lagos is so accommodating and welcoming, and it is simply seductive in all of the opportunities that it provides. Such as opportunities for employment, development of professions, for tourism, technology, for everything that is positive. Lagos has that unique selling point for accommodating everybody and don’t forget, it is blessed with nature.”


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