A member of the Federal House of Representatives, Mr. Babatunde Hunpe; Lagos State Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf and Special Adviser to the State Governor, Mr. Solomon Bonu were among those who eulogised the contributions of the immediate past Permanent Secretary of the Lagos State Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr. Babatunde Olaide-Mesewaku, to the transformation of Lagos’ Tourism and Hospitality sector.
The Permanent Secretary, who retired after attaining the statutory 60 years of age, had initiated several reforms in the Ministry and also authored different books on Tourism, Arts and Culture.
Speaking at a brief ceremony held in honour of the retired Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf described Dr. Olaide-Mesewaku as an encyclopedia of Lagos Tourism whose wealth of experience is still needed by the Ministry even in retirement.
She said: “Dr. Olaide-Mesewaku is a thorough-bred tourism professional and an astute administrator per excellence whose exit from the service will no doubt leave a vacuum. He is indeed an encyclopaedia of Lagos Tourism and a force to reckon with in the history of Badagry tourism”.
“I feel that he has been one of the most positive influences in terms of decision-making over the period. He helped me to learn more about myself, my abilities, and my strengths and weaknesses”, the Commissioner added.
While wishing him a healthy life in retirement, the Commissioner stated that the retired Permanent Secretary remains very relevant and will be contacted by the Ministry from time to time because of his wealth of knowledge and experience.
Also, eulogising Dr. Olaide-Mesewaku, the Special Adviser on Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr. Solomon Bonu said, “The retired Permanent Secretary is no doubt a force to reckon with in the area of historical tourism, not only in Lagos State but in Nigeria as a whole, this has made him a very sought-after personality whose expertise would still be needed by the Lagos State Government even in his retirement”.
Other dignitaries at the event who also extolled the sterling qualities of the former Permanent Secretary include former Lagos State Head of Service and Vice Chairman of All Progressives Congress, Mr. Sunny Ajose, traditional rulers, serving and retired Permanent Secretaries, stakeholders in the Tourism sector, as well as friends and family members.
Dr. Mesewaku, who is the first PhD degree holder in Diaspora and Transnational Studies, in Nigeria, was employed into the Local Government Service in 1991 as a Public Relations/Information Officer and was posted to Badagry. He converted to the Administrative Cadre in 1995 and had since them served in different Ministries before his elevation to the position of a Permanent Secretary by Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu in 2019.