5 Reasons The Sacking Of Folarin-Coker As Commissioner Is A Big Loss To Lagos
Ninuola Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, popularly referred to as Folorunsho Coker or Folly Coker by associates, colleagues and admirers. Folly Coker served the Lagos State government in different capacities from 1999 till 19th October 2016, he was appointed Commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture by the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led administration in October 2015. A portfolio that rightly passes for a square peg in a square hole given his antecedence in managing different portfolios in past administrations as well as his solid influence and connection among the crème de la crème on the Lagos entertainment scene and society circles. To drive home my headline, I have compiled five key reasons why the decision made by Lagos State Government on 19th October 2016 to sack Folorunsho Coker as Commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture is a big loss to Lagos.
Talking about experience, Folorunsho Coker is far from being a novice to governance. Prior to his appointment as Commissioner of Tourism, Arts and Culture by Governor Ambode in October 2015. He served as a Personal Assistant to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu from 1999 until 2003 when he was then officially appointed to the cabinet to serve as the Deputy Chief of Staff in the governor’s Office. It was while he was in office as Deputy Chief of Staff that he was appointed Managing Director of the Lagos State Number Plates Production Agency.
In 2014, former governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola appointed him as a member of the Lagos State Executive Council and Special Adviser on Central Business Districts.
He is Highly Visionary:
Folorunsho Coker as Commissioner, was a man brimming with confidence and filled with innovative ideas required to change the perception of Culture, Arts and Tourism in Lagos as well as transform Lagos to a first choice in terms of tourist destinations in Nigeria. Key among his innovative ideas was the creation of the “One Lagos Brand” which was created to serve as the umbrella brand for all the yearly events to be hosted by Lagos State.
He re-branded Lagos Countdown:
Lagos Countdown is an annual New Year’s eve event at the Bar Beach Victoria Island, Lagos. The first Lagos Countdown was held in 2012 as an attempt to drive up tourism and make an event similar to New Year’s events in New York, Sydney, and other major cities around the world.
Lagos Countdown used to be a day event held at the Barbeach on December 31st since its inception in 2012. However after coming on board in October 2015, Folly Coker’s administration rebranded the “Lagos Countdown” to “One Lagos Fiesta”, transformed it from a single day event to a carnival of sort which held in five different locations Epe, Ikorodu, Agege, Lagos Island and Barbeach for five days 27th December to 31st December. Thereby providing an ample opportunity for Lagosians irrespective of their location to enjoy the “One Lagos Fiesta” and celebrate the yuletide season in style. The Fiesta was graced by many A-list artistes as it also served as a good platform for the up and coming ones to showcase their talents. The rebranding of the “Lagos Countdown” to “One Lagos Fiesta” gave the concert a renowned identity among Lagosians both home and diaspora as well as a wider acceptance, participation among music artistes, fun lovers and stakeholders in the Lagos entertainment scene.
He is Competent:
In terms of competence, he constantly proved to be the best man for the job. During his stint at the helms of affairs as the Commissioner, Folorunsho Coker displayed so much competence which was quite amazing for a person who was stepping newly into the terrain of overseeing a ministry. However his competence scores high in the way he successfully managed the affairs of the ministry and the unique methods he deployed in achieving his initiatives and ideas. While in office, here are some of the initiatives he implemented “One Lagos Fiesta” “One Lagos Brand Launch” and “Flavours of Lagos” (Food & Beverage Festival).
His Influence is Phenomenal:
Folorunsho Coker perfectly cuts the figure of a highly influential personality who stands tall among his peers. This seemingly played a pivotal role in making his job as Commissioner quite interesting. He enjoyed an unflinching support and partnerships from corporate bodies, government agencies, politicians and celebrities alike. His influential status culminated in the reason why he achieved so much in the short duration he was in office. The impact of his ministry was felt in Lagos and beyond the shores of the country. It remains to be seen if his successor will be as influential or successful as the erstwhile Commissioner.