Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has won the Balearica Awards for the Best Tourism Governor in Nigeria category. The organisers said the award was in recognition of his numerous contributions to the growth of domestic tourism in the state.
Making the announcement during the 2020 edition of the Nigeria Tourism Award ceremony held virtually yesterday, Efetobo Awhana, head of the organizing team, said Sanwo-Olu deserved the award because he was the only governor to establish a tourism support fund following the devastating effect of COVID-19 on the industry.
Awhana said also that the Sanwo-Olu also prioritised tourism policies among some other positive tourism initiatives implemented in the state.
Awhana lamented the devastation the Nigerian tourism industry has passed through as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said: “The 2020 Nigeria Tourism Award recognises those tourism firms and individuals who have gone out of their way to boost domestic tourism while COVID-19 ravaged the world.
“2020 was indeed a difficult year for every practitioner in the tourism industry, yet many individuals went out of their way to ensure that the industry thrived amidst all odds.”
Hon Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, also got special recognition award for tourism infrastructures due to his contributions towards improving the transportation system in Nigeria, especially the railway.
Special recognition award for tourism innovation went to Skyview Communications; Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General of the National Park Service bagged special recognition for essential duties while Mr Adeyanju Lipede was rewarded for tourism investment.
Sterling Bank was given special recognition award for tourism support as some other individuals were recognised as tourism industry Icons – Mrs Susan Akporaiye, Mr Gani Balogun.
Others were: Mrs Bunmi Aremu, Mrs Tinuke Nwakohu, Dr Raphael James, Mrs Bimbo Durosinmi-Etti and Folorunsho Coker.
Dr Adebisi Obawale, the Osun State Commissioner for Tourism, got the best Tourism Commissioner award.